Vocal Concert by Priya Sisters
Date: April 3rd 2011
I had the immense pleasure of attending Priya Sisters’ concert last spring. I am very thankful IFAA Dallas ( www.ifaadfw.org ) for arranging this melodious concert. Shanmukha Priya and Hari Priya, popularly known as Priya Sisters were accompanied by V.Ragavendra Rao on Violin and Skanda Subramanian on “Mridangam”.
The concert began with the “Varna” “Jalajaksha Nee Paadame”, a composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman set in “Raaga Asaveri” and “Taala Adi”. The next composition rendered was “Vaarana Mukha vaa” in “Raaga Hamsadhwani” and “Taala Roopaka”. Priya Sisters did an excellent rendition of this composition with an excellent “Kalpana Swara”. It was a great beginning to the concert and thrilled the already enthused audience.
The next composition I believe was “Yendunti Veda Vetigi” in “Raaga Darbar” and “Taala Chapu” followed by “Nee Paadamu” in “Raaga Nalinakanti” and “Roopaka Taala”. Both were very melodious and lilting.
Following composition was another masterpiece classic called “Shree Kamalambike” set in “Raaga Shree”. It is a slow and beautiful composition of Muthuswami Dikshitar. It talked about the different names of Goddess Shakti. This “kriti” is one of the most challenging “NavaVarna” “kritis” composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar.
The next “kriti” to fill the auditorium was “KaddanuVariki” composed by Saint Tyagaraja. It was set in “Raaga Hanuma Todi”. I am a big fan of “Raaga Todi”. Priya Sisters did such a great job of bringing the beauty of “Raaga Todi”, that they seemed to cover all aspects of its nuances. “Todi” just filled the auditorium and I could feel the grand vibrations of the majestic notes floating all around me. The “neraval” for this composition alternated between Violin and Voice. Priya Sisters displayed a lot of maturity and dexterity in “Raaga Vistara”. The “swarasthana” just seemed so perfect and yet so endless..its hard to explain. This was followed by a beautiful “TaniAvartam”.
After this was the main composition of the concert – “Raagam Taanam Pallavi” – “Sharavana Bhava Shiva Gurubala Shankara Mukha Muruga”. It was set in Ahh..the so complex Taala – “Khanda Jaati Ata Taala” set to 9 beats cycle. “Raagas” changed from “Ranjani”, “Sankara” , “Madhyamavati” , “Shanmukhapriya” ( close to “Todi” ) and finally back to Ranjani. It was couple of genies at work bringing a fast rendition with a complex Taala.
Next composition seemed like a “Shloka” “Shree Madhava Charita” followed by devotional song “Tandana Tandana Brahma Okkate Para Brahma Okkate”. Next one was also a devotional song – “JagaJanani Sukhapani Kalyani” set in “Raaga RatiPatiPriya”, “Taala Adi”, composition by Ghanam Krishna Iyer. The following composition was a “Bhava” oriented composition “Aasai Mugam Marandhu Poche”.
The next piece was the very memorable “Maare Ghar Aooji” – Meera “Bhajan”. The last composition was “Jo Achyutananda Jo Jo”..Just as the sun was setting in Dallas and when we were all ready to sleep they made us rock to their music with this beautiful lullaby. The “Mridangam” mellowed down to support wonderfully.
The accompanying artists were wonderful. V.Ragavendra Rao on Violin displayed superb violin techniques. Skanda Subramanian on “Mridangam” gave the audience a rhythm of lifetime.
Priya Sisters are blessed with a very aesthetic presence and beautiful voices. It was a pleasure to listen to them. They have excellent coordination with each other. The selection of the compositions was very impressive. Most of the songs were new to me, but each one of them was such a masterpiece that they are etched in my memory.
MusicNamaste wishes them all the very best!