SAFE: The two-hour concert, at SAFE, was well planned and executed with proper time allocation for the kritis.

A sharp and sonorous voice and a clear understanding of the classical structure backed by poise worked in favour of Cuddalore S.J. Janani. Projecting the tricky flavour of Simhavahini for Tyagaraja’s ‘Nenarunchara Napai’ with swaras at ‘Talli Tandri Guru’, a sub-main of vibrant Pantuvarali (‘Sambo Mahadeva’ of Tyagaraja) and a weighty treatise of the main Kalyani projected a vocalist with a clear vision of her art. Her open throat articulation and steady build-up of raga essays have earned brownie points for Janani, but she also needs to keep a tight leash on it during the upper register sancharas.

The two-hour concert, at SAFE, was well planned and executed with proper time allocation for the kritis. The Kalyani alapana was followed by Dikshitar’s ‘Kamalambam Bhajare’ and her swarakalpana at ‘Kamala Vani’ was perfectly framed without excesses. The Sri raga varnam, ‘Eppadi Manam’ in Huseni, ‘Sarasa Samadana’ in Kapi Narayani and ‘Muruganin Marupeyar’ in Behag were thye other pieces that showcased Janani’s talent.

Violinist Jayanthi Keshav accompanied Janani with apt responses in ragas and swaras. Mannarkoil Balaji on the mridangam and H. Sivaramakrishnan on the ghatam made a wonderful pair and provided a plethora of rhythmic combinations in the right proportion. 

Till she settled on ‘Mayamma’ (Syama Sastri) in Ahiri, Ishwarya Vidhya Raghunath’s vocal recital in the company of Padma Shankar (violin) and Delhi S. Sairam (mridangam) moved at a galloping speed. ‘Chalamela,’ the Darbar varnam, and Tyagaraja’s ‘Sugunamulae’ in Chakravaham with a string of swaras elevated the expectation. The Ritigowla raga essay included all the prime phrases to impress and once again ‘Cheraravathe’ was vibrant. Padma Shankar complemented the singer with expert responses both in Chakravaham and Ritigowla.

Sankarabharanam being the main raga, Ishwarya set her exposition at a leisurely pace exploring the raga’s range with proper stopovers and roll-on akaras. The famous ‘Enduku Beddala’ was appended with the niraval and swaras at ‘Veda Sastra.’ It is evident that Ishwarya had matured into a promising singer but a bit more attention on the enunciation of sahitya and swaras will add value to her music.