Ranjani-Gayatri at Brahma Gana Sabha

Vidushis Ranjani-Gayatri @ Brahma Gana Sabha

30 December 2023


Ranjani-Gayatri have remained the favourites of audiences across the globe for more than a decade now. The duo’s vidwat and performing ability places them a cut above most vocalists of their generation. In fine form this December season, Ranjani-Gayatri opened their morning concert for Brahma Gana Sabha with Dikshitar’s Sadachaleshawaram (Bhoopalam) laced with fine kalpanaswaras. One of the most striking features of the concert was Ranjani-Gayatri’s vast repertoire. From rendering a spotless, expansive Sunadavinodini translating to Mysore Vasudevachar’s rare Devadideva, to Spencer Venugopal’s Vaa Muruga Vaa (Begada), to a Malayalam padam of Swati Tirunal (Kulir mathi vadane) rendered in sopanam style, the sisters wowed us with all that and more. Traversing multiple languages (Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi) in a three-hour concert, and delivering all of them with their subtle niceties and felicity of expression is not easy.


Natakurunji rendered to reveal the raga beauty and just when you were soaking in the ma-ga-sa prayogas, Gayatri moved the Sa of Natakurunji to render the Ma of Nilambari and the pa of Nilambari to come back to the Sa of Natakurunji using her forte of graha bedham. Tyagaraja’s Manasu Vishaya (Natakurunji) was the chosen kriti rendered with excellent exposition of swaras by the sisters and reciprocated brilliantly by Charumathi Raghuraman on the violin.  An outstanding tani that followed by Sai Giridhar and K.V. Goapalrishnan (KVG) heightened the experience. Both Giridhar and KVG with their sensitive accompaniment distinctly contributed to the success of the concert.

Post the tani, the sisters took the concert a notch upward with their rendering of the ragam-tanam-pallavi. Purvangam in Sindubhairavi and uttarangam in Mohana Kalyani and Tillang, using the concept of graha bedha. The pallavi (purvangam) Venkatachala Nilayam Vaikunta puravasam and for the uttarangam, Mohana Kalyana Gopalam Sree (Mohana Kalyani); Ati Lavanya tilakam anugraha karam (Tilang). Ranjani’s unhurried rendition of Sindhu Bhairavi created a beautiful mellow. Gayatri’s effortless traversing through her favourite graham bedham was a standout. Ranjani too, this time ventured the graha bheda with absolute finesse, revealing her versatility. The niraval and swaras that followed had several superhuman level sangatis and this was brilliantly matched by violinist Charumathi Raghuraman.


Charumathi’s accompaniment always leaves a lasting impression on the listener. Her kalpana swaras are notable for their fluid grace and their interesting combinations, stitching patterns with simplicity, landing beautifully at the eduppu in all sorts of combinations, and all with a smile on her face.


A ragamalika virtuttam followed on Lord Muruga, culminating to Papanasam Sivan’s Saravana Bhava ennum (Shanmukhapriya). With a penchant for abhangs, they concluded the concert with a new Namdev abhang tuned by them in raga Surya.   


Capturing the audience's attention for two-plus hours is not easy. Breaking monotony in the concert has always been their forte. Whether through tempo, subtle nuances, or language, the sisters have appealed to all cross-sections of the audience and continue to do so.

Rasika Ranjani Sabha’s acoustics need a special mention, the sound balance and decibel levels were perfect creating an environment of immersive musical experience.