Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh – Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira – Jan 5, 2019

Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh gave an astounding concert at Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira Sankranthi Music Festival, with K U Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam.

  1. Chalamela (Varnam) – Nattakurinji
  2. Pancha Matanga – Malahari
  3. Nannu Vidachi Kadalakura – Reetigowla
  4. Niravadhi Sukhada – RaviChandrika
  5. Amma Ravamma – Kalyani
  6. Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Malayamarutham
  7. Sri Rama Chandra Kripalu – YamunaKalyani
  8. Thillana – Desh
  9. Kamakshi Lokasakshi – Madhyamavathi

My first concert of 2019 started with a beautiful elaboration of one of my favorite ragas, Nattakurinji. Varnam Chalamela had some interesting variations for last two Ettugada swaras and the start couldn’t be better! A brief sketch of Malahari followed. She distinctly highlighted Sa-Ri-Ma-Ga-Ri-Sa-Ri-Ga-Ri-Sa phrase to bring out the raga flavor in a very short span. I am sure it also helped illiterates like me to easily guess the ragam without further thinking! Dikshitar’s krithi Pancha Matanga was played very well. Mellifluous swaras in Malahari were indeed a treat!

A chaste elaboration of Reetigowla was heavenly. I am fortunate to hear the ragam again in a second consecutive concert of Dr. Jayanthi that I attended. Nannu Vidachi Kadalakura is generally sung in a languid style and is supposed to be very difficult to present on any instrument and this rendition was the best one can hear an instrument sing the composition! Lord Rama would certainly never move anywhere while she played!! Jayachandra followed her very well to beautify the presentation!

A brisk Niravadhi Sukhada was a surprise! The krithi gives a lot of scope to explore in the lovely ChittaSwaram which Jayanthi did, but her variations at start of Charanam Mamava Marakata.. were simply unbelievable! The muktayi at the end of swaras was simply god(dess)ly. She played some outstanding sequences before leading to Mamava Marakata.. back at Madhayam on higher octave!!

Soulful Kalyani was the main piece of the concert. The elaboration was very different and with some of the phrases Jayanthi explored the full octave, which was a crash course of sorts in exploring the queen of ragas! Yet another Thyagaraja’s masterpiece Amma Ravamma was presented beautifully. Some exquisite round of swaras which were repeated well by Jayachandra and Udupa in a sawal-jawaab fashion were concluded with a grand & interesting korvai.

Malayamarutham was another surprise of the evening! Ragam was classy with distinctly showing Nishadham in many ways. It was indeed one of the sublime renditions of the ragam that I ever heard! Tanam was meditative putting audience into a trance, that featured lovely transitions to AbhogiBilahari and back to Malayamarutham. She also sang the Pallavi set to Khanda jaathi Triputa Talam and concluded it with amazing swaras in all three ragas. Tani Avarthanam by Jayachandra and Udupa was interesting.

Sri Rama chandra kripalu was enchanting and upon Udupa’s request she played a Thillana, composition of Lalgudi Jayaraman in Desh, before ending the concert with her trademark Syama Sastri’s composition Kamakshi Lokasakshi.

It was heartening to see the crowd overflowing and some of them sitting outside the premises to listen to Dr. Jayanthi. A packed house till the end of the concert just speaks volumes about how much of an inspiration Jayanthi has been for the youngsters!

Wish you all a happy 2019!!

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