Tag Archives: Ranjani & Gayatri

A concert for a lifetime

In the notification in these columns about Ranjani-Gayatri’s upcoming concert in Muscat, I had predicted it would be a grand affair. An easy way to score a point as a clairvoyant, since their concerts are always grand! More than 800 people had a sublime experience, not one of them choosing to go – even after the concert! The organizers had to practically hustle the sisters away from the hall for some much needed dinner!

I have made a another  prediction about Ranjani and Gayatri (R-G): that they will be the torch bearers for the restructuring of the Carnatic Music concert pattern – something their illustrious predecessor, Sri Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, did many decades ago. At a time where incredibly  silly things are being tried in the name of innovation, R-G sisters are sticking to  a format that all at once respects the basic tenets of the grandest of India’s music traditions, yet gives them ample room for experimentation. It is their ability to exercise freedom with a sense of discipline and reverence to our divine musical heritage that gives me the courage to say that their pattern will be the one in vogue in the coming decades.

They stuck to their formula yesterday – a crisp Abhogi varnam (although I must confess I was hoping to hear some kalpana swarams a-la the great GNB, another master innovator within traditions), a crisp Kedaram (Swati Tirunal’s Paramananda Natana) then a Rangapura Vihara in Brindavana Saranga (a special treat for the Indian Ambassador, as the composition is in Sanskrit, and the raga is common to both Hindustani and Carnatic systems);  a detailed Todi  (Tyagaraja’s Raju vedala) was followed by a composition in Dwijavanti (payorasi bhale). This kriti is by Smt Kalyani Varadarajan, whose wonderful compositions are gaining popularity amongst the top performers because of their intellectual appeal.

Then came an elaborate alapana in Mohanam as a preface to the ever popular “kapaali” by Papanasam Sivan. This was followed by a scintillating thani avarthanam by Manoj Siva, who drew a massive applause for his efforts. By now, the audience was totally mesmerized.

 

Ranjani-Gayatri

 

In keeping with their charming ability to connect with the audience, they announced the details of the compositions they sang. After a melodious Nasikabhushani (Tyagaraja’s Maravairi ramani) they took up the main item of the concert: a Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi (RTP for short), a unique feature of Carnatic music. Ranjani and Gayatri, known for their sensitive handling of both heavy and off beat ragas, chose to treat the audience to an RTP in beautiful Hamsanandi. Every shade, every hue of this pleasant raga was brought out in consummate detail by both sisters – the transition from one to the other in mid phrase was so aesthetic, it drew repeated applause.

But this was nothing compared to the garland of ragas they weaved at the end – the ragamalika – composed of Nattai, Reethigaula, Hamir Kalyani and Sindhubhiaravi. Ranjani’s handling of Hamir kalyani once again underscored the in-depth knowledge of ragas derived from the north. The last, most deservingly referred to as the queen of ragas, was handled brilliantly by Gayatri – she was so engrossed, she could have gone on for an hour elaborating the raga. Sampath’s violin was sweet and soothing to the ears, and his repartee to each of the sisters’ volleys was remarkable. The audience’s joy was boundless at the end of the piece – no one seemed in any hurry to stop clapping! Then followed the “thukkadas”. The term may be translated to mean tidbits, but in their melodic intent, they were as weighty as the major kritis preceding them. There was a viruttam in karaharapriya, saveri and a delectable Maand, then Purandara dasa’s Narayana nine in Suddha dhanyasi, and a lilting bhajan in Khamaj (payoji meine ram rattan dhan payo). The finale was the much awaited abhang that the sisters are especially well known for – they chose Bhoota mothe in Chandrakauns, made extremely enjoyable by Gayatri’s explanation of the lyrics up front.

 

Gayatri

 

The true hallmark of a great artiste is their ability to deliver in the presence of adversity. A Tendulkar or a Roger Federer doesn’t get perturbed by the dryness of the pitch or the slippery court. They give of their best to the fans. In what could be mildly put as audio adversity, Ranjani and Gayatri delivered ace after ace, cover drive after cover drive, each one more pleasing to the senses than the other. Within minutes of the concert being over, accolades galore were clogging the whatsapp messages of all the organizers. This was Nadopasana’s 4th concert of the year, but quite easily the concert of a lifetime.

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The Melody Queens Ranjani & Gayatri in Muscat

Ranjani & Gayatri

The top-ranking Indian Classical music duo of Smt. Ranjani and Smt. Gayatri are to perform for the music loving audience of Muscat on Saturday 28th October. They are coming from Chennai, the cultural capital of India, for their maiden performance in Oman.

 

Ranjani & Gayatri

 

Ranjani and Gayatri are sisters who have been giving classical music concerts from a very young age. They established themselves as a leading violin duo, but have now changed to giving vocal concerts. They are among the most sought-after singers in India, because of their wide repertoire – (they sing compositions in many major Indian languages, including all the South Indian languages, Hindi, Marathi and Bengali) and their being outstanding consummate musicians. They are especially well known for their rendition of Marathi Abhangs, some of which they have tuned to music themselves.

Their concert is being organized by a group of music enthusiasts who call themselves Nadopasana. The organizers said they were extremely pleased to be able bring the numero uno team of vocalists for the listening pleasure of music lovers in Muscat. Although they have toured all around the world extensively, this is their first ever visit to Muscat, which regularly sees Classical Music stalwarts perform in the city every year. Two talented youngsters, Trivandrum Sampath (violin) and Manoj Siva (mridangam) will accompany the sisters.

 

 

Trivandrum Sampath

 

Manoj Siva

 

We are overwhelmed by the response from music lovers” said one of the organizer. “Their concert is bound to inspire the large number of young music students in the city”, he added. Such good events are made feasible through the magnanimous grace and patronage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Venue:

Sur Ballroom,
Muscat Holiday Hotel,
Al Khuwair – Muscat.
Time: 05:30 PM
Date: 28th Oct. 2017

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