Gayathri Venkatesan @ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai

Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Mini Hall, East Mada St., Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 23rd Oct 2006

Organizer: Ganamukundapriya

Vocal: Smt Gayathri Venkatesan

Violin: Sri H.V. Raghuram

Mridangam: Sri Tiruvidaimarudur A.  Shankaran 

Ghatam: Sri J. Ramdas
List of songs:

1) vanajAkshi (varnam) – kalyANi – Adi – rAmanAthapuram srInivAsa iyengAr (S)

2) pAlimpa rAvadElarA – Arabhi – rUpakam – pallavi sEsha iyer

3) sundara tara dEham – pantuvarALi – Adi – thyAgarAja (ANS)

4) aparnA pArvati – naLinakAnti – rUpakam – kalyANi varadarAjan

5) rAga sudhA rasa – AndOlikA – Adi – thyAgarAja

6) tAmadam En swAmi – tODi – Adi – pApanAsam sivan (ANS – main)

7) Ehi mutham dEhi – rAgamAlikA – Adi – nArAyaNa tIrtar (?)

8 ) thillAnA – mAnD – Adi – lAlguDi g. jayarAman

9) satyasya (viruttam) – rAgamAlikA

10) pavamAna (mangaLam) – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja

This is the first time I am hearing a concert of Smt. Gayathri Venkatesan and the first thing that struck me when the concert began was how beautiful her voice was. I feel hers is one of the most attractive female voices in the carnatic circuit today. As Prof T.R. Subramaniam said towards the end of the concert, a good voice alone can’t help and Smt. Gayathri had enough substance to go along with her good voice. In fact, she was single handedly responsible for making the concert a good one.

Of all the accompanists, the mridangist was probably the only one to actually play well technically but he banged his way to glory. His “hard-hitting” accompaniment coupled together with a more-than-necessary amplification resulted in many in the audience closing their ears at times. So unbearable it was at one point in time that one gentleman in the audience tried his best to point it out to the mridangist as well as to the organizer without any positive results. This particular gentleman was so frustrated that when the taniavartanam was about to start, he made a quick exit quoting the line from the charanam of the song using which vocalist did neraval on his way out i.e., “idhu inimEl mudiyAdhu …… porukka mudiyAdhu (roughly translated: I can’t bear it anymore)

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