Followed by Nithyasree's concert, I went to Bombay Jayashree's concert on 26-December-2008 at The Music Academy, Madras. The concert was at 4:15 PM.
Even for this concert, getting a ticket is a marathon job. When I went to get the ticket at around 9 AM in the morning, all were sold out and the seats at LCD hall (Mini hall) started filling. Luckily there were some 5 tickets for Dais and I got one.
I was waiting in the queue near the dais entrance with lot of eagerness. I was sided by two old ladies who never stopped talking about the jewellery worn by artistes and the crowd for the concert and many more worldly affairs.I was praying to God that I should get a place in the stage without any hinderance from these kind of people. God answered my prayers. I got a place in the second row, from where I could see all the performing artistes.
The concert started with a calm nattai raaga alapana that was followed by Saraseeruhasana priye. The song was so serene and calm. Kalpana swaras were also highly commendable.
Then was the attractive nayaki. The raga, by nature, will be smooth. And when heard in her voice, it was smoother even. Jayashree's rendition of Nee bhajana gaana needs special appreciation.
Then was the master piece of that concert - Sree Balasubramanya in the raga Bilahari of Muthuswami Dikshithar. I had heard, Bilahari as a roaring lion. But Jayashree gave a new face to it. It was like a motherly lion with grace and majesticity. She placed the niraval at the charanam - kanaka valli devaseno. I was expecting kalpana swarams there. But she didnt. I thought there wont be kalpana swarams for this song today. No sooner did I thought than came the garland of swaras based on the pallavi sree balasubramanya.
This song was on the swamimalai (near Kumbakonam - my place of birth) swaminatha swamy I guess. The charanam had the lines swami shaila.. Also this kriti had mine and my sister's name. In the anupallavi, there were phrases Dheena sharanya and Prakasa Lavanya. One more kriti of Dikshithar Sree Subramanyaya Namasthe in the raagaa kaambodhi will also have such phrases.
Then was the gana ragA GaanaMoorthi and the song was of course Tyagaraja's gem - Gaanamoorthe. When Jayashree was about to finish the song, she rendered the words Gaanamoorthe which appeared to me like Gaanam oorudhe (Tamil words - Meaning - The music is getting soaked in oneself).
Then was the kharaharapriya raga alapana. It was handled traditionally but at the same time innovatively. The sahitya was the sweet - Raama Nee samaanam yevaru. The neraval at the charanam - Paluku paluku laku thEnE was so sweet like the honey (thEn!)
Ranjani is absolutely a challenging raga. But when handled properly it will melt the listener's heart. The result of the melting would be nectar. That happened during Jayashree's rendition of Ranjani raga ragam taanam pallavi.
Raagam was in pure ranjani. Tanam had a 3 storeyed structure comprising of Ranjani, Begada and Hindolam. Then came the pallavi on lord Muruga. It was set to Khanda jaathi triputa taalam in chatusra nadai. The ragamalika swaramin 7 ragas was a real garland. Ranjani, Begada, Hindolam, Hamsanadham, Janasammodhini, Charukesi, Kapi were wonderful and showed how strong was Jayashree in Ragam and Taalam. The kalpana swarams were really a feast for the listeners.
Then was the viruttham in the raga behag followed by Velane sivabalane. It was rendered with utmost bhakthi.
Then came a Jayadevar's ashtapathi in the raga karnaranjani. The composer has written with a sincerity and so did the singer sung that song.
The penultimate item was a tillana, written by Lalgudi Sri Jayaraman, in the raaga vaasanthi. I am happy that I was able to find that raga in the very start itself. Many were asking what that raga was.
The concert was concluded with the traditional nee naama rupamulanu nithya jaya mangalam in the raga sourashtram.
The concert was superb on the whole. But Jayashree could have announced the rare ragas once it was over as it could have avoided the unnecessary murmurings every now and then a rare raga was sung. Hope the artiste will do that from her next concert onwards.