CHENNAI: Today’s young concert artistes, unlike their ancestors, have no passion to gain mastery over music. They only perform for critical acclaim. And if the rendering style becomes lifeless, the recital only remains unregistered in the mind of the listener.
These were the thoughts that flashed in my mind as I sat listening to the music recital by vocalists Ranjani and Gayathri, who performed for the Chennai Cultural Academy at Rama Rao Kala Mandapam recently.
The duo sang with perfect sruti alignment and had expressive voices, which in turn resulted in a lively presentation.
The sisters strictly adhered to the sruti and sang with pure diction. They delineated the Bilahari Raga alapana ‘Tholi Janma’ composed by saint Thyagaraja with noteworthy swara sancharas. The song Thoo Mani Madathu, and the Thiruppavai in Raga Saranga ensued with a devotional fervour in a reposeful and relaxed phase.
When they descended in their graceful style to sing Suddha Madhyamam, which is Raga Keeravani’s 21st melakarta and equivalent of Simmendra Madhyamam, they converted this into Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi. In thanam that alternated, they strayed into Raga Simmendra Madhyamam’s 57th melakarta (the prati madhyamam, which is equivalent of keeravani) though Keeravani Raga was clearly spelt out in the pallavi.
And with the number Karthi keya Gangeya, their evocative rendition of swaras and niraval landing in Ragamalika (Kedaram, reethi gowla, hindolam etc) was revealed with an assuring imagination of the identity of ragas, which was a demonstration of expanding the chosen phrases.
Their rendition of Soolam Pidithu in Ragamalika, Sri Rangapura Vihara in Brindavana Saranga, Nanaati composed by Annamacharya in Raga Revathi, provided a pleasurable experience in understanding the creative depth of vaggeyakaras.
Rajiv on violin was appreciable while Prasad on mridangam and Purushotham on kanjira intertwining the softness of beats and brevity was noteworthy.