Mathangi Satyamurthi's enthralling recital in Edappally was packed with verve and imagination.

The Swati Tirunal Memorial Day at Edappally had leading female vocalist Mathangi Satyamurthi singing some popular songs of the poet-composer King. Mathangi is a seasoned performer from the Chembai bani, having had her training under K.S. Subramaniam.

She started the concert with the popular Sankarabharanam varnam ‘Chalamela' with gusto. Interesting mukthaippu for swaras in Hamsadhwani was replicated well by Trivandrum Sampath on the violin. ‘Pahisreepathe mohana moorthe' was the composition that captured the mood of the audience. The elaborate swaras in Mayamalavagowla for the kriti ‘Devadeva kalayamithe' showed the working of a quick creative mind. The vocalist's was bang on pitch all throughout the concert.

In the alapana of Kamboji, Mathangi mused on the middle octave, and it was a while before she touched the upper shadjam. While some phrases were bathed in melody and bhava, the routine ones, as in descending jhanda patterns, were not avoided. However, Sampath had a rich and varied elaboration to offer. This was followed by the kriti ‘Karanam Vina Karyam' in Misra Chapu tala. This time the vocalist presented well chiselled, short swara passages unlike her usual style of long elaboration. Palakkad Mahesh Kumar made his indomitable presence felt with his confident and deft strokes on the mridangam. As a poignant Simhendramadhyamam alapana unfurled, the audience readied themselves for nothing but the obvious ‘Rama Rama Gunaseema'. Mathangi presented an uncorrupted almost impeccable version of the kriti with no loose ends.

‘Munimanasadhama' had an imaginative niraval followed by non-metered swaras in the first speed with some delectable korvais. Thrikkakara Santharam who started his ganjira playing for the tani on a low note was trying to prove a point or two about the effect of playing with moderation. The farans with varying ‘vishranti' and even the ending teermanam eschewed the mundane and went for a tricky pattern.

The mathematical rhythm patterns from Mahesh Kumar were stimulating.

Mathangi sang ‘Bhaja bhaja manasa' in Sindhubhairavi and Dhanashri tillana as the closing pieces. The concert was organised by Edappally Sangeeta Sadas.