Gayathri Girish’s exclusive Tamil concert


The senior vocalist Gayathri Girish chose some rare and pleasing compositions for Tamil New Year package

The senior vocalist chose some rare and pleasing compositions for Tamil New Year package

It was, indeed, a pleasant outing to attend a live concert, after a long gap of two years. Organised by Hamsadhwani at the Youth Hostel in Adyar, the familiar ambience, the evening breeze, and the not-so-crowded venue brought back memories of the pre-pandemic days and left one feeling refreshed.

Since the concert was on the Tamil New Year’s Day, vocalist Gayathri Girish had chosen Tamil compositions. The opening song was a lilting pada varnam by Papanasam Sivan in raga Nattakurinji, ‘Swami naan undhan adimai’. She presented a new song, ‘Anbum amaidhiyum engum nilavida’, in raga Nattai, written by Shankar Venkatraman specially for the occasion. A sketch of Madhyamavati segued into Oothukadu Venkatakavi’s popular composition, ‘Adadhu asangadhu’.

Gayathri’s Purvikalyani raga essay was crisp, yet it carried all the signature phrases. A few rounds of swarakalpana were added to the pallavi in the end. Her rendition of a virutham ‘Angayarkanni kappu’, was an apt choice, as the day also marked the celebration of Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareswarar wedding. This was followed by a song on Meenakshi kalyanam in raga Anandabhairavi. These were excerpts from Paranjothi Munivar’s Thirumana Padalam, a section of Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam. Then came a poignant Thevaram by Appar, ‘Vaananai Mathi Soodiya’ in raga Kiravani, in praise of the Tiruvannamalai deity.

Stately Sankarabharanam

Raga Sankarabharanam was the piece de resistance of the evening. The elaborate treatise, by Gayathri, with phrases built up gradually, highlighted the stateliness of the raga. Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Manadirkisaindha manaalan,’ a not-so-frequently heard composition, was her choice here. A well-structured niraval at ‘Amarar dinam panindhu archchikkum’, and the swara exchanges between the vocalist and violinist, M.R. Gopinath, were elegant. A seasoned violinist, M.R. Gopinath’s repartees for the alapana, niraval, or swaras were full of poise and grace. The vibrant playing by B. Sivaraman and Prasanna Hariharan, on the mridangam and ghatam respectively, added momentum to the concert. Their tani avartanam was a neatly-framed exercise.

The concluding session was packed with quite a few pleasing compositions — Bharatiyar’s popular ‘Chinnanchiru kiliye’, including all the stanzas of the charanams as ragamalika, Guru Surajananda’s ‘Muruganin maru peyar’ in Behag, prefaced with a verse from Kandhar alankaram, Lalgudi Jayaraman’s thillana in Madhuvanti, and Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh in Chandrakauns. ‘Vazhiya senthamizh’ brought the concert to a close.

The Chennai-based writer reviews Classical music.

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