Heritage Ramanavami Music Fest: A befitting finale
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Heritage Ramanavami Music Fest: A befitting finale

April 29, 2024

The grand finale of the 108th Heritage Sri Ramanavami Music Festival at Sri Bidaram Krishnappa’s Sri Prasanna Seetharama Mandira marked a packed audience for the sheer musical experience. It was indeed a befitting celebratory concert. Indeed a wonderful musical experience by none other than Vidushis Ranjani and Gayathri.

The top ranking performers of Karnatak classical music, the sisters never cease to delight, enthrall their fans. Their exploration to discover the innermost beauty of a raga is something remarkable. Another characteristic feature of their music is the spontaneity. They push themselves to give their best. Vid. Vittal Rangan on violin, Vid. Delhi Sairam on mridanga and Vid. Omkar Rao on ghata respectively.

The opening ‘Smaraneonde salade’, a meaningful Devaranama by Purandaradasa in the raga Malayamarutha created a perfect mood. The Kalpana swaras were brisk and adept. Their next selection was ‘Diwakara Tanuja,’ a vaarakruthi in Yadukulakambodhi by Muthuswami Dikshitar. No need to say it was splendid.

Ranjani took up Hamsanaada for alapana. The raga was a bliss. Her creativity shone in all its splendour. As expected, ‘Bantureethi’ of Tyagaraja, with its fantastic neraval at ‘Ramanamamanevarakhadgameevi’, and a rigorous Kalpana swaras by all the three artistes  was highly energetic and baffling. Vittal Rangan too employed his bow to create a melodious raga bhava. Next was Gayathri’s turn to create magic from a vakra raga like Reethigowla. Violin too was impeccable. Tyagaraja’s ‘Nannuvidachi’ was so emotive that encapsulated bhakthi and bhava in the minds of   the listeners.

The rapid ‘Tattvamerugatharama Rama’ in Garudadhwani was just the opposite of the previous kriti. The sisters  are so adept in changing the moods! Main item of the day was a grand Raga Thana and Pallavi in Vasantha Bhairavi. Ranjani gave a perfect start to the raga with her imaginative phrases. Gayathri , with her intense singing took it altogether for a different level. Taana was exemplary with foot tapping rhythms. ‘Nee dayaradaKalyana RamaInavamshatilakavegame’ , the Pallavi was set to Tisra Ata taala. What followed was a cascade of Kalpana swaras in different nade. Especially the Tisranade was incredible.

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They recreated a holistic experience of pure music. Their spontaneity is remarkable. Gaytri’s prowess in ‘Grahabedha’ is quite famous. She started with Jog and went on to Brindavani. From there, she jumped on to Varamu in arohana and Hindola in avarohana, a new combination that she named rightly as ‘Varaahi’. So brilliant ! This proves that the sisters not only  are conservators , but also innovators of classical music . The energetic percussion duo Delhi Sairam and Omkar Rao enthralled the rasikas with their lively taniavartana. Purandaradasa’sUgabhoga ‘Kava daivavuneene’  followed by a Devaranamaa ‘Rama Mantravajapiso’ was very calm.

They always have demand for Marathi Abhangs. ‘Tujhe naamamaajha’ pleased the audience. The curtains came down with the right selection  ‘Maamava Pattabhirama with devotion. This concert will remain in rasikas minds for a long time.

—Dr. Rama V. Bennur

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