Ranjani and Gayatri won the hearts of the audience with their power-packed performances.

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Ranjani and Gayatri are performing in The Music Academy's Margazhi Season 2022.
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Ranjani and Gayatri are performing in The Music Academy’s Margazhi Season 2022. Photo credit: S. Thanthoni

Ranjani and Gayatri are key members of the Blockbuster Concert Performers Club. His concert, especially for The Music Academy, is an important date that has been preserved by many. The Sisters rarely disappoint their die-hard audiences. This season was no exception. His concert had all the ingredients that have given him unprecedented popularity – high-voltage singing, interesting duets in the swaras, elaborate manodharma journeys, an intelligent pallavi and dramatic crescendos.

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The sisters set the concert’s default pace in the first couple of choruses. ‘Sri Guruguha Tarayashom’ (Devakriya, Dikshatra), surrounded by charioteers, followed Shanmukhapriya. Ranjani’s raga alapana was complete with a classical touch, especially in the descent. L Ramakrishnan on the violin was even more impressive with his alapana. ‘Marivere Dakyuraya’ by Putnam Subramania Iyer provided the perfect platform for the singers to deliver power-packed kriti and neeraval. In a few moments, it became overwhelming.

Tyagaraj’s ‘Hicharikaga Ra Ra’ in Yadukula Kamboji (Khanda Chapu) has a unique kalaparamana that is a shade sharper than other popular kritis in the raga. Ranjani and Gayatri convey the beauty of the raga without dropping the tempo too much. In recent times, one has not heard of Vasantha being promoted as a main part, and the sisters deserve credit for that choice. Gayatri waved the petals of Vasantha’s glory with a few magical constructions around ‘Nee Da Ma’. It was an unusual phase when emotional expression dominated the action. ‘Sri Kamakshi Katakshi’ (Ramaswamy Sion, Aadi 2 Kalai) is a rarely heard kriti composed in a Dakshitaresque design. Each part of the raga swaroopam is woven into the song and the singers give a delightful interpretation, especially in the first speed swaram after the kriti. Vasantha’s fragrance filled the hall.

After the traditional rush by ‘Patti Vaduwardu’ (Manjari, Tyagaraja), Ranjani and Gayatri are brought into the Begada bridle.

The melody was pleasant but predictable. The pallavi, as might be expected, was in a complex tala structure — the third jampai mishra nadai (‘nadupasnachache velachithi o mansa’) sung in parts in the third nadai also, summing up to eight counts. From then on, the concert moved on to a more virtuosic plane, featuring the intricate Neeraval and Gayatri’s three raga bedam spells, Kiravani, Hemavati and Vigulabharam. These are interesting but tough challenges that Gayatri is well aware of, and she made the audience roar as she navigated the maze nonchalantly. Passing the heavy duty of Pallavi, as it were, provided nourishment to the mind.

L Ramakrishnan is both an artist and a technician and cleverly switches roles as per the concert chorus set by the singers. His nerwals were particularly aesthetic. Sai Giridhar on Mridangam and Anirudh Athriya on Kanjira were unfazed by the charged atmosphere and meshed well with the front-foot game with their sheet-anchor play.

Ranjani and Gayatri’s style and high-energy campaign were brilliantly packaged for the most part with one result – it sometimes goes off the cliff into a frenetic state, perhaps inadvertently, even as they often give us Reminds me of his excellent ability to express delicate music. .

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