It can be stated without fear of contradiction that it is in the hands of our dedicated youth with genuine zeal, competence and humility, to preserve
our rich musical heritage. It is no exaggeration to say that Madurai R. Sundar is one among these torch-bearers. His Kiravani was so powerful that it lingered in one’s ears hours after the concert concluded. The elaborate and brigha-laden raga alapana etched a beautiful sketch. Mysore V. Srikanth on the violin too brought out the well defined characteristics of Kiravani. The thanam was full of energy and vigour. Pallavi, ‘Ma Madhurapuri Meenakshi Amba Devi’ in Chathusrajathi Triputai was a clean rendition. It had ragamalika swaras as well. The thani offered by Neyveli Skandasubramaniam (mridangam) and Adambakkam Shankar (ghatam) was sweet - since apart from intricate patterns and tisra nadai, it had a liberal sprinkling of sarvalaghu, which unfortunately has become a rarity these days.
Sundar took up Neelakanta Sivan’s Purvikalyani kriti, ‘Aanandanatamaaduvar Thillai.’ The alapana was gripping and appealing. Srikanth’s outline was equally pleasing. In the kriti, swaras were at the Pallavi, both at ‘Sadhaananda’ and ‘Natamaaduvar.’ The korvais were natural and flowing. The stamp of his guru T.N. Seshagopalan was clearly in evidence.
Earlier, Sundar commenced his concert with the time-tested Kalyani varnam, ‘Vanajakshi,’ prefixing it with a virutham, Gnaanaanandamayam. Whether varnams should have kalpanaswaras is a question as ancient as the varnams
themselves. Whatever it is, the fact remains that the kalpanaswaras by Sundar for the Kalyani varnam did enrich the piece. Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Maha Ganapati’ in Gowla and Tyagaraja’s Simhavahini kriti ‘Nenarunchara Napaini’ were trimly presented. The all time favourite ‘Mayamma’ of Syama Sastri was rendered in ultra-chavukka kala. The sangatis at ‘Ninnuvina’ and ‘Baalaambaa’ were sweet.
Ambujam Krishna’s ‘Mariyemi Kavalenu’ in Kannada and ‘Enna Solli Azhaitthal’ in Kaanada are emotive in substance and they were rendered with the sentiment they command. Sundar wound up the concert with ‘Kamalanayana Vasudeva’ of Bhadrachala Ramadas and a Thiruppugazh.
Keywords: Madurai Sundar