Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh presented a splendid concert at the Annual Music Festival of the Music Academy, Chennai, with K U Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam and Trichy Krishnaswamy on Ghatam.
- Varnam (Vanajakshi) – Kalyani
- Aparadhamunanorva – Rasali
- Kadaikkan Vaithennai – Begada
- Emanine – Mukhari
- Ramachandram Bhavayami – Vasantha
- Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Keeravani
- Pibare Ramarasam – Ahir Bhairav
- Thillana – Khamas
- Kamakshi Lokasakshi – Madhyamavathi
The concert started on a divine note with the famous Adi Tala Varnam, Vanajakshi, in Kalyani ragam, in a very unhurried way. A rare Rasali aalapana followed. Thyagaraja’s krithi AparadhamulaNorva was presented with poise and the scintillating kalpana swaras set the tone for the rest of concert.
It was time for the beautiful Begada to be engulfed at the Music Academy. Jayanthi presented the ragam and some of the sangathis around Madhyamam were for the Gods, by the Goddess! Blessed were all of us mortals, who happened to be there in the Music Academy that evening! A Tamil composition of Ramaswamy Sivan, Kadaikkan Vaithennai was amazing. Jayanthi played brilliant swaras to sum up what was a delightful Begada!!
A brief soul stirring Mukhari aalapana was followed by Subbaraya Sastry’s composition Emanine ni mahima telpudunamma. Indeed, it is very difficult to delineate the power (mahima) of Goddess Kamakshi and the greatness of Jayanthi’s playing. The composition ended on a sedate note to keep the audience guessed which ragam was going to be picked next.
Vasantha is one of the all-time favorites for most of the rasikas and artistes. The moment Jayanthi started a phrase or two of it, I could hear whispers of “Vasantha” and happy faces around in the Music Academy. Jayanthi presented the ragam with a sublime flow of magical phrases. Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s masterpiece Ramachandram Bhavayami followed and the Kalpana Swaras weaved the beauty of the ragam and her virtuosity in right blend to make it memorable. Jayachandra Rao and Krishna played extremely well to enhance the beauty of her presentation.
The pièce de résistance of the evening was the Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Keeravani. The ragam was so soulful that I had tears in my eyes at the end of it. The depth of the ragam is brought out in the elaborate ~13 minute aalapana marked with chastity and her control over the grand instrument, the Saraswathi Veena. Towards the end of ragam, Jayanthi played some magical phrases for almost a minute without using her right hand, that will be remembered for long long time. Mellifluous Tanam was the pinnacle of the evening. It is usually considered very difficult to expand Tanam for more than a few minutes but Jayanthi is an exception! She played Keeravani Tanam with outstanding ability for close to 14 minutes!! Pallavi was in Adi Talam (2 kalai) which Jayanthi played in three different ragas as well, Malayamarutham, Aarabhi and Behag. Jayachandra and Krishna complemented her presentation very well. After playing the Pallavi in 4 speeds, she played some brilliant swaras in all 4 ragas to sum up the grand RTP with an alluring Korvai. Tani Avarthanam was very good and received great applause from the audience. Atypical of Chennai rasikas, the audience were stuck to the seats even while and after Tani Avarthanam – such is the effect Jayanthi’s music was on the them!
A brief sketch of Ahir Bhairav followed by enchanting Pibare RamaRasam and Thillana in ragam Khamas brought the magical end to the concert. The curtains were down with a richly deserved, long standing ovation after Jayanthi played her trademark Mangalam, Shyama Sastri’s Kamakshi Lokasakshini, in Madhyamavathi!!
Some concerts get etched into the heart forever and this concert by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh stands to be one among them.
Wishing everyone a very happy new year 2020 and an eventful decade!!