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Warming the hearts, the veena Gayatri way
It was an enchanting veena recital, where beauty and skill merged seamlessly.

One could feel a sense of sanctity when E. Gayatri held a complete sway over the audience during her three-hour concert for Brahma Gana Sabha on December 20, 2009.

As she played kriti after kriti, the vocalizing effect of the veena grew stronger and stronger. Her sangatis were expressive. Her repertoire was admirably wide. And, her music cut deep into the soul.

She played an array of kritis. “Sobillu Saptaswara” (Jaganmohini) made an instant impact. Sri raga alap brought joy. The Tiruppavai pasuram “Mayanai” was wonderful to listen. This song was specific to the fifth day of Margazhi month. The resonating music as she played the lower octave (ati mantra sthayi) string was delightful to listen.

The Pantuvarali alapana was impressive. She traveled the octaves in a unique way and brought out the raga swaroopa in all its facets. In a fleeting moment, she made a brief incursion into Mohanam before gliding back to Pantuvarali. The improvisation of “Sankari Ninne” of Mysore Vasudevachar was very good and she embellished it with rich swaras.

Her alapana in the ghana raga Arabi was splendid. She queued up one ghana raga after the other. Her profound musical knowledge was in full display that evening. Her ability to produce in veena high quality gamaka-filled music was admirable. “Maragatha Mani Maya” (a composition of Uthukadu Venkatakavi) has some expressive lyrics. Listening to these lyrics in veena was pleasing and helped one to gain a whole new experience.

Her Brindavana Saranga was mesmerizing. “Rangapura Vihara” of Dikshitar was well received. She made an alap in vivadi mela Kosalam and sang an Irayimman Thampi composition. It was an interesting piece. Her Todi alapana was fabulous. It was the piece de resistance of the evening. The way she produced delectable sancharas and played tanam in a number of ragas was simply superb and richly pleasing. Bhairavi, Kanada, Valachi, Kalyana Vasantham et al came out in quick succession. “Gajavadana Samodita” of Ettendra Bupathi was nice. Mridangist Sheratalai Ananthakrishnan and ghatam E.M.Subramaniam were classy during tani avarthanam. They gave just enough back-up support during the entire concert. Her choice of compositions such as “Bhavamulona” (Suddha Dhanyasi) and Jagadapu Chanuvula (Hindola Vasantham) of Annamacharya was nice. Ragamalika pieces - “Vadavaraiyai Mattai and Chinnanchiru Killiye – got some special treatment. “Katrinile Varum Geetham” was of top quality. It reminded one of late MS. Gayatri had indeed left a lasting impression on the listeners.