In their expert fingers, the ragas steeped in perfect melody, sweetness and bhava, unfolded in many shades.
It is a fact that those who could play veena are fortunate souls; the melodious music delivered from this celestial instrument definitely creates a soothing and ethereal effect on the listener. Jeyaraj and Jayasri, who anchor their play completely on the gayaki style for which the instrument (though not in the traditional geometry) is special, gave a recital of lofty excellence at the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam.
The thin audience, the constant movement of the indifferent people and the startling audio hiccups luckily did not distract the duo.
Highlighting the bhava
The highpoints of the evening were the extensive Sankarabharanam portrayal by Jeyaraj that was perfectly balanced by a similarly powerful picture of Shanmukhapriya by Jayasri In their expert fingers these ragas, steeped in perfect melody, sweetness and raga bhava, unfolded in their many shades.
Some of the dainty upper register sancharas by Jeyaraj in the raga essay of Sankarabharanam were captivating. The Dikshitar kriti ‘Akshaya Linga Vibo' and the lengthy niraval and swaras at the charanam ‘Padari Vana Moola' matched well with the divinity of the composition. Shanmukhapriya's exquisite grandeur could be felt in Jayasri's delineation. The tanam shared by both was a real treat and absolutely apt for the veena.
A pallavi on Lord Srinivasa was their choice in Shanmukhapriya but this exercise was almost pushed to the fag end of the concert.
Following the Navaraga malika varnam, the duo took up Hamsadhwani and ‘Vathapi Ganapathim' with a swara adjunct. ‘Deva Deva Kalayamithe' in Mayamalavagowla by Tyagaraja was the next item with a fair account of niraval and swaras fixed on panchamam on the charanam.
The catchy Hamsanadam précis was followed by ‘Bantu reethi' of Tyagaraja and once again tailed with swarakalpana.
Formatting the concert is as important as the contents of the same. A few quick and peppy interludes would have made the concert layout more appealing instead of indulging in swaras at length for each kriti.
Apart from good support, Arun Prakash and Gopalakrishnan alternately shared the responsibility of percussion on the mridangam and ganjira respectively during swara sallies between Jeyaraj and Jayasri in tandem. Their tani avartanam was measured and pleasing.