FRIDAY REVIEW

With the serenity of Spring

Jayanthi Kumaresh.  



G. SWAMINATHAN

If Gayatri Venkataraghavan's singing was marked by precision and piety, melody was the focus of Jayanthi Kumaresh's veena at Hamsadhwani.

Commitment and dedication are evident in Gayatri Venkataraghavan's performance. With time and practice her mellifluous voice has gained sheen. Her concert at Hamsadhwani was a pleasant experience with the choicest kritis and serene delivery. Gayatri's exposition of Vasantha, figuratively speaking, carried the full bloom of the Spring season. Gayatri's selection of Dikshitar's `Harihara putram' flowed with precision and piety. Vachaspati was also given a distinctive place with raga alapana for the Tyagaraja kriti `Kandajoodumi.' However, the raga of the evening was Kharaharapriya and Tyagaraja's inimitable `Chakkani Raja.' The most adorable quality of Gayatri Venkataraghavan is the modesty with which she approaches the precious compositions of Carnatic music. If her raga vinyasas are neat essays on bhava embellished with intricacies at the right places, her kalpanaswaras are calculated packages of neatly set arithmetic combinations eschewing wild and mindless digressions. There is another wonderful young violinist in the horizon. Charumati Raghuraman has already proved her credentials and acumen. In Gayatri's concert her contribution in all the main pieces in Vachaspati, Vasantha and Kharaharapriya were substantial and enjoyable. B. Sivaraman on the mridangam and Cleveland R. Balu on the kanjira were the sober percussionists supporting the mood of the vocalist's involved rendition.

Exceptional touch

The veena concert of Jayanthi Kumaresh also had Vasantha but as the central one for Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi and the sub-main was Hemavathi, the pratimadyama counterpart of Kharaharapriya. Jayanthi's veena recital has unique value as she focuses her concentration completely on melody. Jayanthi could create a remarkable ambience of Hemavathi even with just two or three swaras of the raga by her exceptional touch (meettu) and pull (asaivu). But, Jayanthi, in a way seemed to have got lost in her own novelty and the casualty being her usual continuum of emotive passages. The kriti `Sri Kanthimatim' was presented with splendour and a torrent of kalpanaswaras apart from the alluring chittaswara. The Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi in Vasantha was done with grace but for a rather brief alapana. The pallavi set in kandajathi triputa tala went as `Arul varamarul thunai purindarul iyal isai enakku.' The compact tanam followed and the pallavi covered all the mandatory proceedings of niraval, trikalam, ragamalika swarams in Hamsanadam, Sivaranjani, Revati and Behag. The tani avarthanam was special with Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam and Sukanya Ramgopal on the ghatam. The rhythmic sallies exchanged between Narayanan and Sukanya were brisk, sharp and engaging that went for nearly thirty minutes. Jayanthi also had a few unusual compositions of Tyagaraja in her agenda uch as `Ela ra Srikrishna' in Kambodi and `Palinthuvo' in Kanthamani, the latter with a treat of frisky kalpanaswaras.