Gayathri Venkataraghavan @ Naada Inbam, Chennai

Venue: Raga Sudha Hall, 85/2, Luz Avenue, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 17 Apr 2007

Organizer: Naada Inbam (SVK Birthday Concerts Series)

Vocal: Vid. Gayathri Venkataraghavan

Violin: Vid. Mysore V. Srikanth

Mrudangam: Vid. Manoj Siva


List of songs:

1) vighnarAja krupA sindhO (slOkam) – hamsadhwani

2) yAkundEndu tushAra hAra (slOkam) – yamunA kalyANi

3) sAmI daya (varnam) – kEdAragowLa – Adi – tiruvOtriyUr tyAgayyA (O)

4) brOchEvArevarE – srIranjani – Adi – thyAgarAja (AS)

5) ANdavanE unnai – shanmukhapriyA – rUpakam – pApanAsam sivan (ANS)

6) inkevarunnAru – sahAnA – Adi – aNNAswAmi sAstri (A)

7) gOvardana girIsham – hindOlam – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (S)

8 ) dvaitamu sukhamA – rItigauLa – Adi – thyAgarAja (AS)

9) koniyADina nApai – kAmbOji – Adi – vINai kuppaiyer (ANST)

10) alivEni endu cheyvu – kurinji – misra chApu – swAti tiruNAL

11) peTra tAi tanai (viruttam) – hamsAnandi – rAmalinga swAmigaL

tandai tAi vEr evar ayyanE (viruttam) – behAg

irakkam varAmal – behAg – rUpakam – gOpAlakrishna bhArati

12) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja

13) mangaLam kOsalEndrAya (slOkam) – madyamAvati

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

For a second I thought I was listening to Smt. M.S. Subhalakshmi (MS) when the concert started. The first slOkam was rendered in MS style in exactly the same tune that MS used in many of her concerts. All this happened just when I was thinking about how Vid. Gayathri Venkataraghavan and her husband remind me sometimes of Smt. M.S. Subhalakshmi and Sri Sadasivam. I don’t mean to compare the two couples but Sri Venkataraghavan can be spotted in almost all concerts of Vid. Gayathri. He also seems to keep the PR stuff running with his face almost always sporting that million dollar smile.

If the starting slOkam reminded me of MS, the main alapana of the day – that of kAmbOji had Sri K.V. Narayanaswamy (KVN) written all over it. Or may be its just my ears that have become so accustomed to hearing KVN’s kAmbOji that they keep going back to KVN’s version even when someone else sings the raga. kAmbOji was surely a gem. The reply from Vid. Mysore Srikanth was also very satisfying. The other alapana I liked a lot was that of sahAnA. The kriti “inkevarunnAru” was rendered so beautifully with Sri Venkataraghavan joining the action from the first row, moving his lips in sync with the lyrics !!! The chiTTa swarams in the kriti were very beautiful and seemed to cover swarams from the lower octave madhyamam to the higher octave madhyamam. The very range covered by the chiTTa swarams soaked in the beauty of sahAnA impressed me a lot in this very first time that I am listening to this composition. On top of this, “dvaitamu sukhama“, so full of rItigauLa, was served soon after and my happiness knew no bounds !! I somehow feel that one can always expect Vid. Gayathri Venkataraghavan to do a fantastic job with slow kritis that need a lot of bhAvam and azhutham. For that very reason I think I can spend days together just listening to her sing Sri Syama Sastri’s compositions.

Taniavartanam was played by Sri Manoj Siva in Adi tALam 2 kaLai and comprised primarily the chatusra and tisra naDais. The tisra naDai was played in both slow as well as faster speeds with patterns of 7 aksharams + 5 aksharams ( = 12 aksharams) coming within 2 beats in the latter part of the naDai in place of the usual 6 aksharams per beat patterns.

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2 thoughts on “Gayathri Venkataraghavan @ Naada Inbam, Chennai

  1. Sathej says:

    Yes,she sings slow compositions extremely well.Her Akhilandeshwari was great at Music Academy on Dec.31,2007.Yesterday,I went to Shri Mankkal Rangarajan’s kutcheri at IIT Madras.It was quite nice with quite a few rare pieces.
    Sathej

  2. Ram says:

    I heard about the Manakkal concert. Had to miss it though as I have been camping at Raga Sudha Hall for the past few days. BTW, there are exclusive Syama Sastri compositions concerts happening today at many places.

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