Priya Sisters – Smt. Haripriya and Smt. Shanmugapriya performed at the Odukkathur Mutt yesterday accompanied by Sri M.A. Krishnaswamy on the violin, Sri Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam on the mridangam and Smt. Sukanya Ramagopal on the ghatam. The main piece was Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s “srI krishnam bhaja mAnasa” in the rAga tOdi and this was the only song for which neraval was done.
The list of songs is as follows:
1) jalajAksha (varnam) – hamsadhwani – Adi – manambuchAvadi Venkatasubbaiyer
2) karimukha – nAttai – Adi – g.n.bAlasubramaniam (?)
3) nI dAn mechi – srIranjani – Adi – UthukkAdu venkata subbaiyer
4) rAma nannu – harikAmbOji – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
5) nambikettavar – hindOlam – Adi – pApanAsam sivan
6) sundaratara – pantuvarAli – Adi – thyAgaraja
7) akhilAndEswari – dwijAvanti – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
8) nAn enna tavam – kamAs – Adi – UthukkAdu venkata subbaiyer
9) srI krishnam – tOdi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
10) vinA venkatEsam (viruttam) – hindOlam
nigama nigamAntha – hindOlam – Adi – annamAchAryA
11) chediyAy (virutham) – sivaranjani
malaimIdhu vAzhum – sivaranjani – Adi – ?
12) nAnEke badavanu – madhuvanti – kanda chApu – purandaradAsa
13) shankarA shiva – Ahir bhairav (?) – Adi – sAi bhajan
14) gOvindam gOkulAnandam – bImplAs – Adi – Adi sankarAchArya (?)
15) uyyAla lUgumA – yamunAkalyAni – kanda chApu – sAi bhajan
16) pavamAna (mangalam) – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja
The concerts of Priya Sisters can be segmented into two parts – one part lasts from the start of the concert till the main composition ends which is pure classical stuff and then the second part starts which mainly comprises the thukkadas. The sisters are very famous for their sAi bhajans, annamAchArya and purandaradAsa kriti renditions. There is a section of the audience that specially waits for the second part of the concert (in most of their concerts I have attended so far). Yesterday was no exception. The organizer, I must admit, has some appropriate line or word for every artist that performs. His line yesterday went like: “Coming to a Priya sisters concert and going before the thukkadas are sung is like eating a meal in a South Indian marriage and leaving before the pAyasam (kheer) is served”.
Sri M.A. Krishnaswamy and Sri Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam, I think, comprise the usual accompanists these days for Priya Sisters and this was evident in their understading of the songs and the way they played along beautifully (though I should say Sri Skanda Subramaniam was a bit too loud at times). The sisters also complement each other at many places. For instance, Smt. Shanmugapriya’s voice isn’t all that great and you can see the voice starting to shake and look as though it is going to break especially when they reach the higher notes. Smt. Haripriya, who has a stronger voice, takes over and dominates at such places. She also does most of the rAga AlApanas.
Today’s concert at the Odukkathur Mutt is by Malladi Brothers.