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Priya sisters regale

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

Every bit of the concert was a pleasure to listen to.

Photo: H. Satish

SISTER ACT Haripriya and Shanmukhapriya kept the audience glued to their seats.

The Priya Sisters we heard a year ago are quite different from what they are now. Today, they appear to be more accomplished singers. Their concert held at Ravindra Bharati as part of the two-day Icfai Music Festival-2007, which was sponsored by Alpha Foundation and the South Indian Cultural Association ,was an experience to listen.

It was one of the most wonderful concerts seen in the recent times. Of the two, the elder one Shanmukhapriya displayed a kind of sobriety and serenity. As for the younger sister Haripriya, the way she carries herself shows how dashing and knowledgeable she is. And the two make an excellent combination with complementary qualities.

While Shanmukhapriya sang with aplomb reflecting erudition, Haripriya was vivacious and took risk whenever displayed her manodharma, especially while building the raga and swara.

In rich ragas, she displayed her urge to bring out the best with an authoritative touch. The fact that none in the well-packed auditorium moved out even while the tani avartanam was on explains how good the concert was. Every raga they rendered and shared was itself a sumptuous essay worth remembering.

The repertoire was a combination of Tamil and Telugu compositions. The initial part of the concert was marked by a pleasant Hindolam, for which they chose a Tamil composition in praise of Vinayaka as an invocation. Then came the Bhairavi essay, which was well presented through the popular Upacharamuchese Varunnara in rupakam, along with a well-measured swarakalpana. Then they went for a Tamil composition Kaa Vaa Vaa in Varali, before they took up a rare raga Lalitha, which was well essayed. The kriti Nannu Brovu Lalitha of Shyama Sastry was rendered with good expression in such a way that every word clear was to the audience. The rendition of this devotional number was a bit animated too. The swarakalpana was built with utmost care and retained the melodic mood intact.

That was followed by a quickie Niravadhi Sukhada in Ravichandrika. Haripriya rendered the major raga Kalyani exclusively, which took a good time, and each phrase of the melody was decorated with nuances of high order. They chose Dikshitar's Sanskrit piece Kamalambam Bhajare in chowka talam.

This was one of Navavarna kritis of the saint composer. Together with neraval and swarakalpana, the rendition of this major piece took almost one hour to complete. It was, of course, the best offering of the duo. They were supported by Chennai Raghavendra Rao on violin and Satish Kumar on mridangam . The tani avartanam presented by both was a thrill that made the audience sit and enjoy every bit of it. Even the light classical lullaby of Annamayya Sriranga Sisuvu Jo Jo was a pleasure to listen to. The concert was concluded with Govindam Gokulanandam.

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