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A command concert by Ranjani & Gayatri
CHENNAI, December 13: There was a slight delay in the start. Once it began, there was never a dull moment. Sisters Ranjani and Gayatri held a complete sway over the audience as they synchronized in an elegant and effortless way to produce a high-energy concert for Brahma Gana Sabha on the evening of December 12, 2010.

It was a blissful experience for the audience. With a disarming candour, Gayatri struck a positive chord by apologizing for the 10-minute delay in the start. Thereafter, they went on to produce a command performance. There was prudence in their selection of songs. There was precision in their planning. And, the delivery was neat and perfect. Be it composed music or creative one, the sisters shone well during the entire length of the concert, which stretched to nearly two-and-a-half hour. Proven violinists, Ranjani and Gayatri, of late, have been making a huge impact as vocalists. More often than not, their vocal concerts run to full houses. And, they draw fans across spectrum. More than anything, they have an uncanny ability to connect to the audience with their charming disposition and pristine music. They seem to bring a sense of freshness to the concert.

The sisters, who have aesthetic dress sense and care for details, began the pleasant evening with a brisk Pantuvarali varnam “Sami Ninne Kori” before getting into Ghana (heavy) raga Nattai. Purandaradasa’s “Jaya Jaya Jaya Janaki Kantha” underscores success. Well, the way the sisters sang that evening, the concert turned a complete success. Ambujam Krishna composition “Guruvayurappane Appan” (Ritigaula) was nicely rendered. Gayatri’s alap in Manoranjani was grand. She was exquisite in delineating the raga. Her voice was rich. And her manodarma sangeetham was of high quality for its content and delivery. Gaytri’s strength lies in her ability to explore simple ragas and rare ones with equal ease and efficiency. Her raga expression was outstanding on this evening. Ranjani and Gayatri then went on to render Thyagaraja’s “Atukaradani”, which is laden with expressive lyrics. The RTP (Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi) was fascinating. Rakthi raga Abhogi was chosen for raga expansion and pallavi rendering. Ranjani and Gayatri alternately explored the raga in its full beauty with some mind-boggling creativity. The RTP phase unfolded an interesting duel between the sisters as Ranjani tested Gayatri by weaving some intricate swara patterns. Violinist M.R. Gopinath proved a perfect foil for the sisters. Since the sisters are violinists themselves, Gopinath’s task was not that simpler. Yet, he measured up very well. Pallavi was set in Tisra jati Triputa talam in Tisra nadai as “Vande Sada Bhogindra Shayinam Damodaram Sridharam Harim”. The ingenuity of the sisters was in full display as they embedded the word `Abhogi’ in their pallavi line. This was indeed a smart conceptualization. The raga change and swara rendering in Kuntalavarali, Begada, Hamirkalyani and Revati gained audience appreciation. It was simple but extravagantly executed by the sisters. Ranjani sang the ragamalika swaras with great felicity and Gayatri was excellent. Taniavarthanam saw percussionists Delhi Sairam(mridangam) and Trichy K. Murali(ghatam) play some delectable strokes perk up the concert. Ranjani and Gayatri gave a wholesome treat to Dikshitar’s “Bhajare Rechitha” (Kalyani) with neraval and swaras. Kalyani brought out the best in Ranjani as she scaled the octaves with ease and poise. Popular Mokshamugalada (Saramathi) of Thyagarja and G.N.Balasubramaniam’s Malavi composition “Mariveragati” were pleasing to hear. After a viruttam in ragamailka and “Muruganin Maru Peyar Azhagu”(Behag), they concluded the concert with an Abhang of Sant Eknath in rag Durga, “Danya Danya”. According to Sant Eknath, the best way to reach God is through namasankeerthanam. As the curtain went down for the evening concert, sisters Ranjani and Gayatri left the audience with plenty to take home.

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