Jeyaraaj and Jayashree seemed to focus on playing rare kritis this time.
If one prefers to relish the delicate nuances and shades of classical music, it is the veena that provides the best representation of the human voice. At times, even those inflections and subtlety not possible through human voice could be heard through this divine instrument if the performers have proficiency.
Jeyaraaj and Jayashree, whose groundings are basically on Muthuswami Dikshitar sahityas and lineage, are adept at presenting the ragas, kritis and swaras in pristine purity.
Their concert was soaked in gamaka-oriented presentations. After the Saranga varnam, it was ‘Vathapi Ganapatim’ in Hamsadhwani. Kritis also seem to have seasons! This composition once very popular had almost gone into oblivion and rarely heard. So it was delightful when the duo stretched on the line ‘Pranava Swarupa’ with swaras.
Jayashree sketched Anandabhairavi for the Dikshitar’s majestic number ‘Manasa Guruguha,’ another less heard item. A sprightly ‘Kanchadalayadakshi’ in Kamalamanohari again from Dikshitar’s chest was followed by Jeyaraaj’s detailing of Nalinakanti. A highly sparkling melody found a stylish treatment by him and followed it up with Tyagaraja’s ‘Manavyala.’ The evening’s main ragas were Simhendramadyamam and Sankarabharanam.
The former was developed by the duo with due respect to the melodic quotient. To suit the poignant alapana, Jeyaraaj and Jayashree chose Vasudevachar’s ‘Ninne Namminthi Nayya.’ The niraval on ‘Pannagendra Sayana’ and swaras followed and the kuraippu swaras landing on panchamam were well-conceived and delivered. With the concert scheduled for more than two-and-half hours, the artists opted for an exhaustive Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi in Sankarabharanam set to Misra Triputa. The raga treatment by Jeyaraaj was genteel with the tanam extended with ragamalika tracks by both.
Mudhra Bhaskar and Madipakkam Murali on the mridangam and the ghatam, respectively, mainained proper decibel in keeping with the instrument’s musical motif.