Gayathri Venkataraghavan @ Universal Fine Arts & Naada, Chennai

Venue: R.K. Swamy Auditorium, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 06 Jan 2007

Organizer: Universal Fine Arts & Naada

Vocal: Smt. Gayathri Venkataraghavan

Violin: Kum. Charumathi Raghuraman

Mridangam: Sri Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar

List of songs (partial):

1) ambOruha pAdamE (varnam) – ranjani – Adi – g.n.bAlasubramaNiam (O)

2) karuNAnidhiyE – bowLi – misra chApu – pApanAsam sivan

3) gurulEka eTuvaNTi – gowrimanOhari – kanDa chApu – thyAgarAja

4) bhajana sEyavE – kalyANi – rUpakam – thyAgarAja (AS)

5) dwaitamu sukhamA – rItigowLa – Adi – thyAgarAja (A)

6) garuDagamana – nAgaswarAwaLi – rUpakam – paTTaNam subramaNya iyer

7) emaNi migula – tODi – Adi – syAma sAstri (ANST)

8 ) unnaDiyE gatiyenru – bahudAri – Adi – g.n.bAlasubramaNiam

Not sure if any other song was sung after this

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Smt. Gayathri Venkataraghavan started her concert with Sri GNB’s varnam “ambOruha pAdamE” in ranjani as it is Sri GNB’s birthday today. I think what she sang today is arguably the best rendition of this varnam I have heard so far. After a beautiful rendition of “karuNanidhiyE” and the fast paced “gurulEka eTuvaNTi“, she launched into a 5 minute alapana of kalyANi that captured the essence of the raga beautifully. Following this was the rItigowLa alapana which was executed superbly by both Smt. Gayathri and Kum. Charumathi Raghuraman. “dwaitamu sukhamA” was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, I had to leave the auditorium when she began singing tODi but I was hovering near the exit door and could hear strains of the beautiful tODi alapana, the tODi kriti and the pallavi of Sri GNB’s bahudAri composition.

There was a TMK concert scheduled to start one hour after Smt. Gayathri’s concert started at a nearby venue. At the beginning of the concert, many people around me were debating on what would be an appropriate time to go to the TMK concert. But as Smt. Gayathri’s concert went on, many people just stayed put. I heard one of the mamis near me ask her husband – “yen naa … krishna kutcheri 6:15 ku aarambikkum. iva ivvalavu nalla paadara … poga manasu vara mattengardhu …. enna pannalaam …. krishna kutcheri miss aayidum polarukke? (TMK concert will start at 6:15; but she is singing so well … don’t feel like getting up and going … what shall we do …. looks like we will miss TMK’s concert)”. I think this itself speaks volumes about the quality concert that Smt. Gayathri gave today !!

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