Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh – Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – June 26, 2016

Veena is one of the most beautiful instruments, associated with several divine personalities in Hindu mythology. It is also one of the oldest and perhaps the grandest of all instruments. Sri R. Visweswaran, senior Veena Maestro conducted this special “Workshop on Veena” at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for 2 days, concluding with Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh’s short Veena recital, for a little over 75 minutes.

Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh was accompanied by H S Sudhindra on Mridangam and Phanindra on Ghatam.

  1. Parvathi Kumara – Nattakurinji
  2. Palinthuvo – Kanthamani
  3. Prakkala Nilabadi – Kharaharapriya
  4. Vagaladi – Behag (Javali)
  5. Kamakshi Lokasakshi – Madhyamavathi

Dr. Jayanthi started with a brief aalapana of Nattakurinji followed by very delightful rendition of Parvathi Kumara with some magical swaras to end it. A very soulful Kanthamani aalapana followed, which will be remembered forever. Such was the beautiful demonstration of the rare ragam by her. I heard it for the first time and I am mind blown! Saint Thyagaraja’s Palinthuvo followed as it ended with some amazing swara patterns. Suddha Nishadham prayogam by her in multiple patterns, is still ringing in my ears, after 2 days!!

If I have to write about Kharaharapriya and Dr. Jayanthi’s rendition of it, perhaps I have to write a separate blog altogether, dedicated just to it. A very detailed aalapana of the ragam had a few magical moments in it. At one instance, she actually went on playing without even using her right hand (plucking Meetu). It requires sheer brilliance to be able to sustain the notes for so long time on Veena, unlike Violin. Tanam is yet another fabulous thing that flows from her hands as easily as water falls. What a delicacy! How pristine!! She played different patterns of Tanam, seamlessly moving to Varali, Bahudari and Shuddh Sarang (thanks to her, for she told me the names) and coming back to Kharaharapriya. Prakkala Nilabadi happended to be the main piece and the sangathis of it are still standing beside me (prakkala nilabadi) and coming along with me. Short, yet brilliant Tani Avarthanam by Sudhindra and Phanindra made the main piece, a very complete one.

Brief Behag aalapana followed by a rare Javali was a treat to the ears. Syama Sastri’s “Kamakshi”, in the traditional Madhyamavathi ended the concert and the Workshop on Veena.

It was very befitting that Dr. Jayanthi was requested to present the ending concert of the 2-day conference.

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