Venue: Mylapore Fine Arts Club (MFAC) Hall, Musiri Subramanya Iyer Road, Mylapore, Chennai
Date: 07 Nov 2006
Organizer: Mylapore Arts Academy
Vocal: Smt. Gayathri Venkatraghavan
Violin: Kum. Akkarai Subhalakshmi
Mridangam: Sri Neyveli Narayanan
Khanjira: Sri B.S. Purushottam
List of songs:
1) karuNimpa (varnam) – sahAnA – Adi – tiruvOtriyUr tyAgayyer
2) pAhi srIpathE – hamsadwani – Adi – swAti tiruNAL (S)
3) srI lakshmI varAham – AbhOgi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (S)
4) gAnarasamuDan nin – bEgaDa – rUpakam – pApanAsam sivan (AS)
5) dEvi brOva – chintAmaNi – Adi – syAma sAstri
6) chAla kallalADu – Arabhi – Adi – thyAgarAja (S)
7) nI pAdamulE – bhairavi – Adi – patnam subramaNya iyer (?) (ANST)
8 ) sAramaina (jAvaLi) – behAg – rUpakam – swAti tiruNAL
9) kandavarkku kanavilum – kuntalavarALi – Adi – swarna venkatEsa dIkshitar
10) viruttam – madyamAvati
karpagamE kaN pArAi – madyamAvati – Adi – pApanAsam sivan
11) mangaLam kOsalEndrAya – madyamAvati
(Key: A=raga alapana; N=neraval; S=kalpana swaram; T=taniavartanam)
Smt. Gayathri Venkatraghavan has a powerful, booming voice which she uses to her advantage very well. I entered the concert venue when she was almost finishing the sahAnA varnam. A fast paced Swati Tirunal composition in hamswadhwani and Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s sri lakshmi varAham were followed by a gem of a bEgaDa alapana. The syAma sAstri composition dEvi brOva in chintAmaNi was sung beautifully. Smt. Gayathri was a picture of involvement especially when singing this song and she used her strong voice along with modulations at suitable places to add a lot of beauty to her rendition. I simply love hearing slow compositions sung by her, especially Sri Syama Sastri’s or Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s kritis.
Neraval and kalpana swarams in the main kriti, nI pAdamulE, were sung at the pallavi line nI pAdamulE gatiyani nammiti itself. When singing kandavarkku kanavilum, Smt. Gayathri took her lower panchamam as shadjam, which was a bit strange. The madhyamam in this song coincided exactly with her normal (madhya sthaayi) shadjam. It made the kuntalavarALi raga also sound very strange.
The concert was overall a very good one and it gave a very satisfying experience. The sad part however was that there were very few people inside the huge MFAC hall listening to it. The artists on stage however didn’t seem to mind it at all and gave a superb performance. Akkarai Subhalakshmi on the violin was again very impressive. Sri Neyveli Narayanan and Sri B.S. Purushottam also played a good taniavartanam which included a brief chatusra nadai portion, an elaborate tisra nadai and a short kuraippu in the misra nadai followed by a normal chatusra nadai kuraippu.