Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

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#1 Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by hatakambari » 05 May 2014, 09:00

Vocals: Smt. Ranjani, Gayathri
Violin: Shri H.N. Bhaskar
Mridangam: N Manoj Siva
Ghatam: Ravi Balasubramanian

Venue: CET Hall, San Jose, CA
Length: ~3.5 hours

1. mAtE maladhwaja pAnDya sanjAtE - khamAs - Adi - MuttiAh BhAgavatar
2. shrI mAtrubhUtam - kannadA - mishra chApu - DIkshitar (R: brief)
3. amba nI irangAyenil pugalEdu - aTANA - khanda chApu - PApanAsam Sivan (R: brief)
4. sItamma mAyamma - vasantA - rUpakam - TyAgarAja (R, N @ pallavi)
5. enadu manam kavalai enum - harikhAmbOji - Adi - PApanAsam Sivan
6. janani mAmava meyE bhArati - bhairavi - mishra chApu - SwAti TiruNAL (R: 11+5 min, S @ pallavi)
7. shrI shankara guruvaram - nAgaswarAvaLi - rUpakam - MahAvaidyanAta Sivan
8. RTP in hamIrkalyANi, khanda tripuTA (R for 15 min incl. violin, tAnam for 7 min)
"thAyil chiranda kOyilum unDO? idhai aRindhOrkku thAzhvuNDO?"
tALa mAlikA: (all in 36 aksharas)
  • thishra jhampa in thishra gathi , mishra rUpaka in chaturashra gathi, sankIrNa chApu
rAga mAlika: (sorry if I missed anything - it was fast-paced)
  • sindhubhairavi
    AbhOgi/valaji (with grahabhEdham on AbhOgi at madhyamam to yield Valaji)
    sumanEsa ranjani
9. viruththam in 3 parts:
  • a. endha nALaikkum eenDraruL thAyena - thOdi? - ThAyumAnavar on Lord Shiva
    b. en thAyum - brindAvani - aruNagirinAthar on Lord Muruga
    c. koDiyE iLavanjik kombE - Madhuvanthi?, Navarasa kannadA - abhirAmi bhattar on ambAL
10. nAnoru viLayAttu bommaiyA - navarasa kannadA - Adi - PApanAsam Sivan
11. mAthA kALikA -- darbAri kAnaDA - ?
12. chidAnanda rUpa shivOham shivOham - Basant Bahar? - Adi - Adi Shankara's NirVANa Shatakam
13. Abhang "rUpa pahata lOchani" - mArwa behAg? - Sant GnanEshwar
14. bhAgyAda lakshmI bhArammA - shrI - Adi - Purandara dAsa
15. maNgaLam kOsalAya - shrI

Apologies in advance for any errors.

Ranjani and Gayathri gave a splendid riveting concert themed on Mothers' Day and observing Shri Shankara Jayanthi. This is the second concert in San Jose in a month, and still the hall was nearly full. Overall, it was a grand and satisfying concert, showcasing the vocal and musical skills of the sisters, with good accompaniment.

The concert began briskly with HMB's daru varNam. The sisters mentioned the story of Lord Shiva saving a pregnant woman caught in a flood as a prelude to the Dikshitar piece on thAyumAnavar. The aTANa composition on Goddess Lakshmi began with the anupallavi "thAyirangAviDil", presumably so that the very beginning of the first four pieces has a reference to 'mother'.

The bhairavi was elaborate and majestic, a great highlight of the concert. During the swarams, the sisters and the violin alternated 3-way in 2nd speed, to good effect.

After a quick song on Adi Shankara, there was an elaborate hamirkalyani. The sisters were good in bringing out many facets of the raga, but one may wonder whether a lengthy exposition leads to a repetitive effect for such a raga. However, the sisters enlivened the proceedings with a quick tAlamAlika which, as they announced, were all adding up to 36 aksharas. During the rAgamAlika phase, they did an interesting grahabhEdam in abhOgi to land in valaji. Interestingly, SJ rasikas heard a second sumanEsaranjani in 3 days; Saketharaman on Friday also included it in his RTP.

After announcing and singing the virtutham, the sisters started the PapanAsam Sivan kriti with the anupallavi. Hopefully, somebody can throw some light on the "mAthA kALikA" composition. The sisters were good with the Marathi pronunciation in the Abhang as one would expect from their Bombay origin.

H. N. Bhaskar was quite satisfying. The ghatam was good too, disagree with some comments I heard like, "nAdam was not good".

Please feel free to add or clarify.
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#2 Re: Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by mahavishnu » 05 May 2014, 10:41

Wow. that was quick!
Some corrections: It was dEnuka not sindhubhairavi (in the RTP swarams).

13. was in maru bihag.
and 12. was sOhini not basant.

and 11. mAtA kAlika was more of a Carnaticized approximation of the Hindustani adana (adapted from a Pt Jasraj bhajan, not sure of the source). But it did sound like Darbari Kanada.
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#3 Re: Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by Sindhuja » 05 May 2014, 10:57

I also thought 12 was Sohini but what did they do in the second stanza? It sounded like a transposed Sohini/ Basant.
It was a splendid concert! They're rock stars and never fail. I'm glad I got to hear more of Ranjani than usual. Her Vasantha alapanai was extremely well done and I'm going to remember it for a long time. And what a brilliant grahabhedam execution by Gayathri! She was so swiftly and seamlessly alternating between Abhogi and Valaji - went to show how much she was at ease with it and how much of it she'd internalized. She made it look like child's play. When she started doing it Ranjani was visibly surprised, so I'm guessing it was an on-the-spot indulgence.
(Nice meeting you, Ramesh!)
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#4 Re: Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by mahavishnu » 05 May 2014, 11:17

And you, Sindhuja.
It sounded like a transposed Sohini/ Basant.
I agree. It was a hindustani portmanteau of sorts. But it still felt like Sohini to me with an odd anyaswaram.

And yes, a most enjoyable concert. There was a certain spontaneity about it, including the false start after the second run of the korvai, the humor the saw in it and the absolute delight that they took in the whole process. It is very clear that they enjoy their music and their sense of ease with their craft is apparent.

Bhaskar was excellent, except for a minor swaram landing hiccup. Manoj played well, but extremely risk averse which makes his accompaniment solid but not every exciting. But there is a stability that he provides that suits the flights that the sisters take off on every now and again. I didn't think very much of the ghatam artiste's performance today.
Last edited by mahavishnu on 05 May 2014, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
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#5 Re: Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by mahavishnu » 05 May 2014, 11:20

Manisubramaniyan: I looked for you after the concert, but the guy at the CD/records desk told me that you had left. Oh well, next time!
Thanks for organizing this bonus kutcheri.
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#6 Re: Ranjani - Gayathri at San Jose, CA (May 4, 2014)

Post by manisubramaniyan » 06 May 2014, 09:39

Sorry I missed you. I was not well so, as soon as the concert got over, I cleaned up the stage and left. But I am only one volunteer for Sankritilaya (and so is the guy at the CD desk - probably Ram or Subbu); we all pitch in to make this happen.
See you in fall, or may be in some other concert in the bay area..

And this time I did find a seat in the back and was inside for almost the entire concert :)
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