A veena duet by Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Jaysri Jeyaraaj Krishnan was rich in lyrical content and presentation.

A veena duo recital in Thrissur was long overdue. Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Jaysri Jeyaraaj Krishnan filled this void quite commendably with their soulful recital. They maintained the accuracy of gamaka and characteristic of every raga and kriti. Most striking about the duo’s playing was its neatness: every phrase was so precisely shaped.

There was a sense of dialogue between them.

The recital took off with Nattaikurunji varnam ‘Chalamela jesevayya’, Adi. ‘Vathapi Ganapathim’ in Hamsadhwani was played with unusually pulled down tempo.

In the intensity and richness of Jaysri’s raga alapana of Anandabhairavi lay the secret of her musical appeal. They were successful in creating some enchanting effects both in expansive and elemental slow movements for Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Manasa Guruguha’, Tisra Eka.

‘Telisi Rama Chinthanatho’ in Poornachandrika, Adi, a Tyagaraja kriti, was structured very freely. A glowing elegance of Simhendramadhyamam was conveyed. Elegance apart, the quietude of the flow was pleasing. The composition was ‘Ninne Nammithi’, Chapu. Dignity and grace formed the texture of their interpretation.

‘Sarasa sama dana’ in Kapinarayani, Adi, again a composition of Tyagaraja, emerged with aesthetic flow. In the delineation of Bhairavi, Jayaraj’s fecund articulation with subtle gamakas was both reflective and systematic.

The kriti ‘Balagopala’, Adi, of Dikshithar, the major attraction of the concert, was well-delivered with its resplendent lyrical beauty evident in each note. Adrenalin-fuelled, they still had plenty of energy for a lively thillana in Dhanasree.

Urakam Jayaram on the mridangam was supportive if a bit subdued. Kovai Suresh provided ghatam support in the right dose, as the veena always shines better with subdued percussion.

The duo’s exceptional creativity could bring forth many graceful, delicious and attractive nuances of ragas. Although electronic veenas are convenient to carry around, the instruments did not have the throw and power of a human voice.

The concert was held under the auspices of Sree Thyagabrahma Sabha.