Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer believed in originality and he had a decidedly creative mind which was ever active. Maharajapuram Santhanam won the audiences over after quite a long wait, since the dominating power of his father acted as a deterrent! After he evolved a melodious and attractive style of his own, he reached dizzy heights which remained unmatched during his time.
Young Ganesh Viswanathan does show a remarkable amount of promise of living up to that rich lineage, if his recent concert is any indication. He has a resounding voice and a firm grounding in the art. His Sankarabharanam alapana was as expansive as it was aesthetic. He covered the entire range with ease. When he traversed the higher octave, the dynamism of the stately raga was pronounced. The kriti chosen was Tyagaraja’s ‘Enduku Peddala’ with niraval and swaras at ‘Veda Sastra.’ Ganesh’s creativity came to the fore here.
The thani by the ever enthusiastic Sumesh Narayanan (mridangam) was equally absorbing. His korvais in chathusram and thisram were absorbing. Ganesh rendered three more compositions of Tyagaraja – ‘Siva Siva Ena’ (Pantuvarali), ‘Raghuvira Ranadhira’ (Huseni) and ‘Nadalodudai’ (Kalyanavasantham). After a detailed Thodi alapana, he rendered Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Kadaikkan Noakki’ on Lord Kapaleeswarar. It was appropriate for the pradosham evening. But, one wonders why he didn’t attempt kalpanaswaras! Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Rajarajeswari’ in Purnachandrika was a breezy exercise.
He commenced the concert with N. S Ramachandran’s Sunadavinodini varnam, ‘Gananayaka,’ followed by a Purandaradasa devaranama, ‘Gajavadana Beduve’ in Hamsadhwani, with crisp swaras.
Ganesh wound up with two Santhanam favourites, ‘Vilayada Ithu Nerama’ (Shanmukhapriya) and ‘Bho Sambho’ (Revathi) as also a Tiruppugazh, ‘Mathiyal Vitthakanaki.’
On the violin was the young Thirumarugal Dinesh Kumar. His father, T.R. Sekar is a renowned thavil vidwan. Dinesh Kumar exhibited his proficiency in delineating an authentic Sankarabharanam. He has a bright future.