Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

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vasanthakokilam
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#1 Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 03:36

Image
Vidushis Ranjani and Gayathri
Accompanists:
Vidwan H.N.Bhaskar (violin)
Vidwan Manoj Siva (Mridangam)
29th March, 2014 Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, Lemont, IL, USA

Song List

1. Era Napai (Varnam), Thodi, Adi, Patnam Subramanya Iyer
2. Vande Vasudevam, Sri, Kanda Chapu, Annamacharya
3. piravA varam tArum pemmAnE, Lathangi, Papanasam Sivan, (alapana, neraval, swaram )
4. nirajakshi kamakshi, Hindolam, Chowka kala Rupakam, Muthusamy Dikshithar
5. Mohana Rama, Mohanam, Adi, Thyagaraja ( alapana, swara )
6. Thani
7. Ninnada, Kannada, Adi, Thyagaraja
8. Chakravakam, RTP, tisra jampa misra nadai,changed to tisra triputa trisra nadai (both 42 counts)
"enduku nirdaya yadhukula tilaka evarunaaru nirdhara lola"
Ragamalika swaras( Sahana, mohanakalyani, a M2 predominant HM sounding raga and dwijavanthi )
(possible grahabedam heard. more on this later )
9. Viruththam ( kambhoji, behag(?), kapi )
koLLith thalaiyil eRumbu adhupOlak kulaiyum endRan ( Kandar Alankaram - 106 )
aaThaaram ilEn aruLai- peRavE ( kandar anuboodhi - 26 )
Sodanai sumaikkavezhai ALa subramanya - Papanasan Sivan - kapi
10. mAthakALika - Darbari Kanada
11. Abhang, Roopa pahata lochani sukh zale ho sajani toha vitthal barava toha madhav barava, Meru Behag, Sant Dnyaneshwar
12. Mangalam, Pavamana, Sourashtram, Adi, Thyagaraja

I will write my thoughts on the concert a bit later
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mahavishnu
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#2 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by mahavishnu » 31 Mar 2014, 03:49

Thanks, VK.
enduku nirdaya yadhukula ?? evarunaaru nirdhara lola
?? should be tilaka. It sounds like an adaptation of the pallavi from the composition of Garbhapurivasar in Chakravakam.
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vasanthakokilam
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#3 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 04:15

Mahavishnu, I think you are right. I will fix it in my post. Thanks.
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#4 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 06:32

It was a very good concert. I would characterize the concert as "Dynamic and Entertaining". I think they are getting very good at their choice of songs, the relative placement of the songs in the song list and the overall delivery of them with good pacing. And being a duo does not hurt. They are perfectly comfortable with each other and they put that to their advantage. When they sing together in perfect unison, that sounds quite pleasing and energetic. And they get to take breaks at various stages of the concert more than a solo performer which helps them maintain their performance level for their usual high energy thukkadas. Even after 3 hours, it felt like the had enough in them for another 2 hours.

It was a good turn out even though there was a competing option for evening entertainment elsewhere in the metropolis. I would estimate the crowd to be around 400. There were not any audio problems. It was so perfect that it is a non-factor, so to say. Of course, that is how it should be.

The concert started with a brief sketch of Thodi by Gayathri. They launched into a brisk eRA nApai and it was usual and good. It is unkind to characterize it as usual since those who learned it know the degree of difficulty of this varnam but these A-listers breeze through it.

Curiosity was piqued when a little flourish of Sri was heard next. What can it be? Not the varnam, probably not Endaro, may be an MD one? All this in the intervening few seconds before they announced it is Vande Vasudevam by Annamacharya. That is an interesting choice and placement for that song since in my mind that is more a filler or even post main. Talk of (my) conditioning! Of course Sri demands its rightful place and why not as a second song? No problem, it was just fine and the brisk chittaswaras provided the apt alankarams for the song and the raga.

I usually dread the third song in a concert since it is the obligatory pratimadyama song, usually a purvikalyani or pantuvarali. Not that I do not like songs in them or a good raga sketch but it is too predicable in a concert. And when they started it, it of course had that M2 vibe. Quickly, purvikalyani and pantuvarali were dismissed from consideration. I am usually not good at the complex of ragas in the darmavathi-lathangi range and the rule I go by is, if it sounds like kalyani but not quite so, it is lathangi. And that is exactly how it sounded to me and sat back and tried to get the maximum out of it that I could. And my formula worked this time. After the alapana, they announced that it is lathangi and it is 'pirava varam'. Not bad a situation since I actually like that song very much in spite of my lack of familiarity with Lathangi. They did a wonderful job with it with a brisk pace. For a raga that I do not have much familiarity with, niraval and swaras would be bit of a chore to listen, but it turned out to be OK. Personally I think here is where the duo helps (me). There is enough dynamism and change that goes on during niraval and swaras among the duo and violinist that one can just revel in the overall sonorous nature of the presentation without trying to seek anything beyond that. So maximum vasool unlocked given the constraints.

Then followed Hindolam. A filler before the main? 'Samajavaragamana or Ma ramanan'? They are perfectly fine songs of course and some sections of the audience would have guessed just that based on past experience. But not today. A no frills, sedate, slow and beautiful Nirajakshi Kamakshi of MD. Just the right treatment in that chowka kala with each swara unfurled ( and not the swarasthana, to invoke TMK ) to reveal their grandeur which is only possible with that pace. Both Bhaskar and Siva played their role excellently for this song. Suffice it to say, it was not a filler between sub-main and main. Not that the singers are beyond employing fillers, as we will see ( not that there is anything wrong with it ). But a non-filler between Sub-main and main with such a song fits very well. Give them credit for good song selection and placement.

Given the sedate nature of the previous two, the main provided the nice contrast starting from the alapana. Of course, Mohanam is what mohanam does. It brings about the bright, joyous and enchanting mood. The variety of aesthetics that is offered in a CM concert is amazing indeed. We should consider ourselves lucky to have gained a taste for this music.

The better part of the next three quarter of an hour provided that kind of a rasa. Such a raga suits their style and they did very well with it. Whether it is a slower tracing of the Mohana contours or a fast up and down traversal of the scale, Mohana alapana never fails to delight the listener. And this was no exception. This is the first chance I got to pay serious attention to Bhaskar's violin during the alapana return ( of course he played for lathangi but given my relationship to lathangi that did not count!). He played excellently. I thought he transitioned from the slower sections to the super fast sections a little bit too quickly but that is because he played for only half the time. But then in those faster sancharas, his fingering was quite amazing.

As the grand alapana was taking shape, my thinking for the song was one of three possibilities: Narasimha, Bhavanutha or Nannu palimpa. But it was none of those but their choice was excellent.
Mohana Rama is a beauitful song, isn't it? What a gift from the composer!. The sisters did very well in building up the various sangathis which is the hallmark of this song. The kalpanaswaras were very good, they do not indulge in any acrobatics and smoothly transitioned into the Korvai to the grand handover to Siva for the thani.

Till now, Siva was so good at supportive playing he was not noticeable. I think that is a good thing but here he had 8 minutes all for himself. I do not know the technicalities involved, but all the usual elements were there, especially the syncopated ones that derail my thala keeping. I was so absorbed in his playing that I thought the Mohra Korvai came in too quickly. Again a good thing in my books.

Well, we are approaching the two hour mark (I mean the concert, not this writeup ;) )
What is next I wondered. An hour long post-main is definitely a possibility given the audience's expectations of this duo ( the dueling abhangists characterization and all! )
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Lakshman
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#5 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by Lakshman » 31 Mar 2014, 07:18

The latAngi song words are piravA varam tArum pemmAnE.
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#6 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by arasi » 31 Mar 2014, 08:19

Kokilam,
Looks as though you had a ranja-ga--mAna evening listening to the duo. Glad that they inspired you to write a detailed review :)

Yes, their choice of songs are impressive, as I go through their lists these days.

Mahavishnu,
And I thought the pallavi of one of my pet songs in harikAmbOdi was what they have chosen for their pallavi line!

The sisters are very talented and are working hard to add to their repertoire, it seems. Hope they have a great tour here in N America...
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#7 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 08:22

Thanks Lakshman. I have fixed it in my post.

I will post the remaining parts of my write up. Being a Sunday and with unusually minimal distractions, I had time in my hands which resulted in a looong write up. Having spent all that time, I do not have time now to edit it. Let me invoke
this saying attributed to Mark Twain "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter" ;)
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#8 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 08:24

Continuing....

It was soon evident that it was not going to be that kind of a post main. They announced that they will sing a song in kannada by Thyagaraja before the RTP.
That one statement essentially laid out the plan for the next hour or so. Now, let us talk fillers.
'Ninnada' is a filler if there is anything that can play the role of a filler and that is not to denigrate it. Not at all. What a delight to hear this song. Manoj Siva knew exactly how to play for this song and it was all pure joy and fun.Again, having two singers for this song is special. It can absorb and radiate any amount of energy you can give it and shine that much better. (if it is true of two singers, why not try with 4 if an opportunity arises. But it is hard to find 4 good singers who can sing together well. Oh well.. )

After this gaiety, it was time to settle down for the RTP. Given all the ragas that have been covered, what will be an appropriate raga choice for the RTP? Go all the way to Prathimadyama sombre aesthetics, (oh no!) or continue on the bright side. Their choice was something in the middle, Chakravakam. I do not know if such thought pattern went into their planning on song selection and placement but if they did, good job by them since it worked. My mind always wanders towards Karna and Krishna whenever I hear this raga and this was no exception. On top of that, just yesterday morning, in a totally different context, I read the the entire Mahabharata story sent by someone in 36 tweets ( of 140 characters each )! But I digress. Check it out if you are interested ( https://storify.com/ibnlive/mahabharata-in-36-tweets )

I was brought back away from all that battlefield stuff and moral quandry to a more poignant mood since R&G's take on Charavakam was more along Thyagaraja's. It was a grand alapana and thanam lasting for almost half an hour with Bhaskar getting a chance to play a bit more. It was all very good.

Just before the thanam started, I thought I heard some grahabedam from Gayathri. Definitely a different raga, may be two different ones next to each other! I thought I heard Yamuna Kalyani and Kurinji. What else can it be other than grahabedam? Hope someone sheds some light on this. Does that make sense? It was of course for a fleeting few seconds and then Gayathri got back to Chakravakam.
(Wikipedia says that the two possibilities for grahabedam from Chakravakam are Sarasangi and Darmavathi. Alright, things do not add up.I will wait for many of you to straighten me out.)

From my thoughts initially of an all thukkada post main, you can imagine the dramatic change in happenings this kind of an RTP creates. That was not all.

The pallavi was setup to a grand tala framework. It was Trisra Jathi Jampa misra nadai.
Took a few seconds to comprehend all that. ( funny, Gayathri who announced the pallavi said 'It is set to.. Trisra jathi..." and she paused. Don't know why. May be it was a just a momentary distraction, but Ranjani pitched in with 'Jampa'. Gayathri continued with a smile "Misra Nadai.)

It was a good pallavi. It is a complicated thala to follow along. It is a blessing in disguise since none of the audience made any thala keeping sounds. (they were quite good even otherwise in this concert ). The tala structure gave it some grandeur and majesticity, if I may.

Jampa goes like this: Laghu Anudhrutham Drutham. So Tisra Jampa is 3 + 1 + 2 = 6 beats. Misra nadai made it 6 * 7 = 42 counts. They performed the usual RTP maneuvers ( I do not think they did trisram ). Doing all that slowing down and speeding up in misra nadai was not easy. But the people on stage were all comfortable with Manoj Siva herding them all together with his mridangam playing.

Then there was some kerfuffle on stage. 'kerfuffle, really?' you may ask. No, but something happened which changed the nature of the proceedings. Manoj Siva had a meaningful smile on his face. Gayathri then explained, while not missing the beat of the thala that they are switching to Trisra Jathi Triputa Trisra Nadai. (try that when you get a chance, speak normally to someone while keeping to trisra triputa trisra nadai ;) ).

Why does that work? Simple math really. Triputa goes Laghu + drutam + drutam. Trisra Jathi Triputa is 3 +2 +2 = 7 beats. Trisra Nadai makes it 7 * 3 = 21 counts, doubling it gets you 42 counts. So the total length of the tala does not change but the vibe changed due to the nadai change. Siva can now play thakita thakita which has a more free flowing feel and there is definitely a change in flow in the pallavi line itself. It was a bit stuffy before with misra nadai.

After a few rounds on the pallavi with the change in Nadai, they launched into kalpanaswara. Kalpanaswaras sound a bit more attractive in Trisra nadai, I think. So, may be the switch is not just dry technicality but it is aesthetically useful too.

Anyway, Chakravakam swaras led to the raga malika swaras which as usual was a big hit with the audience. I think they started with Sahana ( I say 'I think' because it was a fast paced kalpanaswara and so none of the curves of sahana was possible. It sounded like sahana, hope I am right ). Then unmistakably Mohanakalyani which was beautifully done by both the vocalist and violinist, then to a raga
I could not pin down though I thought I should know that raga ( it was very HM sounding with the usual heavy M2 and may be both M). And finally to a grand and long Dwijavanthi. I did not have a problem with Dwijavanthi at a fast pace like I did with Sahana though I kind of consider them to have similar vibes. Idiosyncratic!

Anyway, as I wrote elsewhere, I could now figure out that the Viswaroopam Song 'unnai kanadu' is predominantly Dwijavanthi ( or jajavanthi ). There was a lot of similarity between their kalpanaswara and some elements of that song ( to be sure, they were not attempting to invoke that song ).
That aside, that was a good portrayal of the raga with kalpanaswara. Bhaskar also got a chance to play solo for it which he did a good job. Back to Chakravakam swaras and to the pallavi line for the finish.

That was an RTP with all sort of heavy elements in them. Refer back to my earlier thoughts of an all thukkada post-main. R&G had the last laugh.

Had pavamana followed, that would definitely have been enough for me.

Well, we were not done ( and you are not done reading this!).

There was a bit of consultation among themselves and with the audience. What to do next? That was quite endearing really. They said that they have 8 requests for Abhangs. Not just 8 requests, but requests for 8 different Abhangs they clarified. What to do? They asked, should they drop the Viruththam?
Audience overwhelmingly said 'NO!!!". OK then! Back to, what to do? On top of that, instead of subtracting the audience kept adding requests. Someone wanted a purandara dasa krithi, someone wanted a song in the theme of 'Amma'. Their Margazhi Mahotsavam theme was 'Amma' and that seemed to have been a big hit with people and that was the context of that request.

Gayathri was all set to get to the song on Amma and she started saying "We sang this song in Chennai and the special feature of this song....". At that time Ranjani tapped Gayathri on her shoulder and got her attention and they conferred a bit on something. That left us all with that open question about what that special feature was. They started the next song. It was a viriththam. After the first half line, Gayathri, realizing there may be a confusion, said with smile in her face 'The viruththam is not on Amma but on Muruhan". Audience had a good chuckle at that.

That was a grand viruththam indeed. It was from Kandar Alankaram and Kandar Anuboodhi.
I am not familiar with those and so I had to look them up today. The starting words are quite unknown to me: "koLLith thalaiyil eRumbu adhupOlak kulaiyum endRan".

Their Tamil diction is just awesome. As rshankar had written in this forum before, they write Tamil using Devanagari script! They were always good and a cut above the rest but I would say they have tidied things up even more. The unfortunate reality with some Tamilian CM singers who should
know better is the jarring misapplied dialectical phonetic use for some words in Tamil ( the tadbhava words ). There was not any trace of that in their singing yesterday.

Started with a majestic Kambodhi for the line 'koLLith thalaiyil eRumbu..', the next one may have been Behag ( not sure ) and finally a very delectable Kapi smoothly transitioning into the Papanasam Sivan Song in Kapi "Sodanai sumaikkavezhai aLa subramanya". This is a new song for me. It was very good.

They picked back up the song on Amma after that. She did not remember to finish her sentence she left hanging about the special feature of it. We may never know! Anyway, the song was very good and energetic and quite capable of stirring religious emotions in people. It was "mAthakALika - darbari Kanada". They sang it for jaya tv. I found the link. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKrtMvk ... age#t=2531
Even from a non religious perspective, one can't go wrong with Darbari Kanada.
( I also found some HM versions of it which sounded sort of similar but they are tagged as Adana but
R&G rendition sounded very much like Darbari Kanada to me )

Then started another interaction with the audience. What abhang to sing was the topic since there is a request for 8 different ones. Soon, they themselves picked one and when they are about to start, someone from left field wanted Yamuna Kalyani. Gayathri said the raga they chose is Meru Behag which has a similar feel. They apologized to bear with them that they could not satisfy all the requests due to lack of time and sang the abhang "roopa pahata lochani" for a good 10 minutes. That sounded nice.

And with a quick Pavamana they wrapped up the 3+ hour concert.

Dynamic and entertaining sums it up.
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arasi
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#9 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by arasi » 31 Mar 2014, 09:08

VK,
A one of a kind review which kept tab of every aspect of the concert, the momentum of it reminding me of a marathoner!

Now, waiting for the experts to answer a few questions you posed :)
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vasanthakokilam
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#10 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 09:14

My admonition to the audience everywhere for whatever it is worth. People, do not clap between Ragam and Thanam and between the last viruththam line and the viriththam song. The artists work hard to set things up a meaningful, aesthetic or emotive transition between those elements. Audience clapping spoils it. In the concert, they did well in the transition between Ragam and Thanam. The audience, realizing that the alapana has finished, clapped. She felt obligated to momentarily stop to acknowledge the appreciation. It was not much of a break but still the effect is lost.

I have a pet peeve on a similar thing which is a fully lost cause. Wait to clap until the alapana or song comes to a full and complete stop. Just like in the air plane where we follow the rule not to unbuckle the seat belt until the plane comes to a full and complete stop ;) But I know that is not going to happen, Chennai or Chicago, Bangalore or Boston!
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#11 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by rajeshnat » 31 Mar 2014, 14:47

vasanthakokilam wrote: As the grand alapana was taking shape, my thinking for the song was one of three possibilities: Narasimha, Bhavanutha or Nannu palimpa. But it was none of those but their choice was excellent.
Mohana Rama is a beauitful song, isn't it? What a gift from the composer!.
VK
Just quoting about you. It is very difficult to be simple and plain and still have others not copy you.
Lovely review , it just came straight from your heart with adequate support from your balanced head. :ymapplause:

On your mohanam guess work when the alapana was running , see you were thinking about narasimha , bhavanutha and nannupAlimpa , but they sang the most popular mohanam -mohana rAmA . It has happened to me many times too , once when TNS was singing anandabhairavi alapana my mind was thinking about manasa guruguha, o jegadamba and kamalAMbA samrakshatu mAM out popped the most popular marivere gathi. These little things where you try not to think simple is part of our live concert experience that we always cherish.

I will never sit next to you during RTP. I hope Your repeated chakravaghanam counting did not kill chakravakham of your co-rasikas and more importantly yours.Keep them coming and write more and more and donot skip reviews of concerts. Was arunk there?
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#12 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by rshankar » 31 Mar 2014, 19:50

VK, thank you for that review. Appears to have been another of R&G's trademark concert. What's amazing to me about this duo is that they maintain this level of scintillating energy/professional caliber in everyone of their concerts. Such an ability to maintain quality is in itself extremely commendable. And Sri Bhaskar seems to be their violinist of choice. I have also noticed that given their violinist backgrounds, they enjoy a particularly close rapport with him.
vasanthakokilam wrote:Their Tamil diction is just awesome.
Wouldn't go quite that far - :) While they avoid the 'Batman-abhan for padmanAbhan' type of mistakes, they still have to work the kinks out between words like kanRin and kanDRin - they pronounce this and other words of the same ilk with a pronounced 'D' sound...I think Rajesh may have pointed this out earlier.
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#13 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by vasanthakokilam » 31 Mar 2014, 21:28

Thanks Arasi, Rajesh and Ravi. It probably took me longer to write it than the concert itself ;) and equally long for the reader to read all my meandering stream of consciousness. It is an indulgence on a lazy Sunday once in a while but those who write often like Rajesh still manage to write quite detailed reviews consistently. That is a lot of work.

Rajesh, about the mohanam songs, yes I was thinking it may be one of those songs.. I think I have heard their Narasimha before. But no complaints about their choice which was quite enjoyable. On tala counting, the audience and I were well behaved. And misra nadai is not easy for pretenders like me, so everyone was spared!

Ravi, on Tamil diction, yes, I remember that 'kanDRin kuralai kEttu' conversation. In fact I may have been an instigator at that time. Over the years it has become a complaint of endearment, so to say, I love that song and their rendition. In the same song, they sing 'pashu pOl' which gets the attention of the Tamil ear. Even if that is correct as a tatsamam, not so from a tatbhavam angle which is the one that matters in such contexts. Same thing with the jarring use of 'sh' for 's' which is common among Tamil CM singers. But R&G did not have any of that during this concert even with the tongue twister like the kandar alankaram. For the Papanasam Sivan Tamil song in kapi they sang it as 'sodanai' and not 'shodanai'. Good for them.
I am not too big a stickler for pronunciation in general since I myself am not good at that but I carve out my own little space to complain about ;)
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#14 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by arasi » 31 Mar 2014, 23:27

VKokilam,
Even those of us who know you (or think we know you) were led to believe that your review was like 'padinetTTAm perukku' (new stream in spring)!

Ravi,
Yes, that 'kaNDrin' kural at first caught my attention too--may be because everything else they sang had no pronunciation or 'fuzzy words' problem. After a while, as VK feels, that too sort of sounded cute, I guess.
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#15 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by MV » 03 Apr 2014, 12:11

Thanks Vkokilam for that beautiful review. Sitting in different corners of the world, it is great when someone takes the time to put down all the greys as well, along with the B&W. Gives one, the feeling of having been there. Or missed it, rather! I can relate to 'Dynamic & Entertaining' I remember they sang a super RTP in hamir Kalyani at MMA Dec 2014. Enjoy USA :)
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#16 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by arasi » 03 Apr 2014, 20:01

MV,
"Gives one the feeling of having been there. Or missed it, rather!"

How true! Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are 'not' sweeter ;)
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#17 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by MV » 04 Apr 2014, 09:28

arasi wrote: How true! Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are 'not' sweeter ;)
Poetic :)
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#18 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chic

Post by svAbhinava » 10 Apr 2014, 22:25

Dear "Vasantha-Kokilam"

Thank you for your personalized appreciation of this concert that I have borrowed from heavily in my review for Desi Talk Chicago (below):

http://epaper.desitalkchicago.com/2014_ ... x.html#8/z

The link will be active from Friday (April 11) morning.

Sunthar
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Ranjani and Gayathri delivered a “dynamic and entertaining" 3-hour Carnatic vocal recital on March 29 at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC) in Lemont, Ill., that was applauded by connoisseurs for selection and sequencing of ragas and compositions, mastery and delivery. The sisters were accompanied by Vidwan Mysore Bhaskar on violin and Manoj Shiva on mridangam.

Beginning with Subrahmania Iyer’s difficult set composition (varnam) Era Napai in ragam Thodi, they went on to the likewise briskly rendered Annamacharya composition "Vande Vasudevam" in ragam Shree. For the third item, where it is obligatory to employ the alternative Ma note (pratimadhyama), they sang Papanasam Sivam’s Tamil composition "piravā varam thārum" in ragam Latāṅgī and Adi talam with niraval and swaras. A no-frills slow and sedate rendering of ragam Hindolam followed in the form of Muttuswami Dikshitar’s "Nīrajākṣī Kāmākṣī."

Full exposition of Thyagaraja's "Mohana Rama" took up three quarters of an hour, starting with exploration of the melodic structure (ālāpanam) of its ragam, the sweet and enchanting Mohanam, that allowed Bhaskar to highlight his talent on his chosen violin. The sisters vied in improvising musical phrases (svara kalpanā and saṅgati) before handing over the ball to Shiva for 8-minute solo exhibition of his dexterity on the mṛdaṅgam.

After Thyagara's "Ninnada" in ragam Kannada as filler, the sisters settled down into rāgam-tānam-pallavi for half-an-hour in Cakravākam, which provided yet another opportunity for Bhaskar. What was distinctive about their pallavi was its 42-beat rhythmic structure (tāla), within which the internal measure they began with, technically called Trisra Jati Jampa Misra Nadai, suddenly switched halfway through into Trisra Jati Triputa Trisra Nadai. This was all so complicated that the voluntary beat-keeping from the audience could no longer be heard. The anticipated detour through the garland of sub-ragas started with something that sounded like Sahana, through Mohankalyani, something else, and finally Dwijavanti before resuming.

Invocatory Tamil verses (vrittam) on Lord Muruga began majestically in Kambodhi ragam and included Behag before transitioning to Papanasm Sivan’s composition "Sodanai sumaikka-vezhai" in Kapi. Popularized by Pandit Jasraj, “Mātā Kālikā” followed in Hindustani Aḍāna, which is similar to and mistaken for Darbāri Kānaḍa, but hovers at the upper ranges of the same scale.

Known for their rendering of Marathi devotional songs (abhang) to deity Vithobha, the sisters have even composed some of their own. Facing requests for eight different abhangs, they chose "Rūpa pahata locani" in rag Maru Bihāg (similar in feel to a requested Yaman Kalyān), before concluding with the auspicious “Pavamana” in ragam Saurāṣṭram.

Many, in an audience of around 400, who had just listened to a Hindustani recital by brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, continued to marvel at such musical communion between siblings.

Cosponsored by RR International and Rajaveena School of Music, a full connoisseur’s take on the recital is available at http://www.rasikas.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=23251

Caption: Ranjani (L) takes in Gayathri’s inspiration at their 3-hour long vocal recital at the Lemont temple on March 29.

Sunthar V., “Connoisseurs of Carnatic Music Applaud Vocalists Ranjani and Gayathri” (DTC 11 April 2014, p.8)
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savvysubu
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006, 22:46

#19 Re: Ranjani & Gayathri,3/29/14, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

Post by savvysubu » 28 Jan 2015, 22:53

Can anyone tell me where I can get a recording of this concert, if available? Thanks.
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