The following lines are not meant as a critique, but more as the rapturous expressions of a layman rasika lucky enough to have been at a momentous concert.

Sri. T.V. Sankaranarayanan, at the very beginning, dedicated the concert to the birth centenary of his uncle, the unparalleled Sri. Madurai Mani Iyer.  But naturally, the concert comprised of gems that were close to Sri Madurai Mani Iyer.

TVS started off with Dikshithar’s Vallabha Nayaka in Begada, and the briskness of the song set the tempo for what was to follow.  Next came Shyama Sastri’s immortal O Jagadamba (Anandabhairavi), followed by a brief exposition of Ananda roopa of Harikesanallur.    The ever-brisk Kapi Narayani piece, Sarasa sama dhana (the entry of Thyagaiyer) came along nicely, followed by Papanasam Sivan’s Varali masterpiece, Kaa Vaa Vaa.

A crisp alapana of Kannada preceded Dikshithar’s Sri Mathrubhootham, and then came the piece de resistance of the concert – Karaharapriya alapana coming ahead of the great Chakkani Raja.  This was really variety combined with virtuosity, at its best.

What followed was a surprise for this listener, for, one major raga was succeeded by another – Kambhodhi came as a prelude to a sedate thanam and another nostalgic piece – Thillai Eesanai Kana as pallavi. (I was really hoping for the Simmendra Madhyamam pallavi of Sri. Madurai Mani Iyer).   The ragamalika included Hamsanandi and Brindavana Saranga.

The lighter fares were Eppo Varuvaro (Jonpuri), the immortal English Note, and the culmination was another sweet surprise, both Madhyamavathi and Suruti essayed as brief ragas.

The hallmark of Nagai Sri. Muralidharan’s play on the violin was his very brief, but sweet raga alapanas, highlighting the main feature of each raga.  The kalpanaswaras, wherever sung, typically glittered with TVS’s brilliance and Murali matched him very well.  The emphasis on rishabam in Karaharapriya during the swaras, in each korvai, transported one to the halcyon days of Sri. Madurai Mani Iyer.

Trichy Sri. Harikumar on the mridangam and Sri. Ramani on the ghatam enhanced the concert and the thani was really short and sweet.

Overall, an elevating experience for the listeners!

About the Author of this article: Ganapathy S. Vibhu is a retired bank official and an ardent classical music rasika.