Commitment and steadfastness are Parur M.S. Anantharaman’s hallmarks.
Age has not withered the dexterity of Parur M.S. Anantharaman’s violin exposition. His felicitation concert at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha along with sons M.A. Sundareswaran and M.A. Krishnaswami, was a reflection of a lifetime committed to Carnatic music. It carried the message that classical music was on an ascent from the gross to the subtle. The veteran was honoured by KGS for his 81 years of Musical Journey on September 19, where A. Natarajan, former director, DD; Cleveland V.V. Sundaram and Vidwan P.S. Narayanaswamy participated.
The vibrancy of Anantharaman’s style reflected the years of dedicated sadhana which has paid off.
His excellent recital was loyal to the loftiness of Carnatic music. Before every kirtana, the brief alapanas were epic in appeal. The picture of each raga emphasised the pinnacle of his playing ability.
Anantharaman’s vidwat, the Parur bani and its musical ideals were in equal proportion at this concert and this combination made for some superb music.
The vision of sangita heritage stimulated the direction of his 80-plus career years. Commitment and steadfastness were inseparable in the playing of Anantharaman and his sons.
The chosen songs were of vintage quality, hewn from decades of experience. In handling the racy sangatis in ‘Salagallala’(Arabhi) and ‘Siddhi-Vinayakam’ (Shanmukhapriya), there was not only lucidity but also lilting lyricism, done with ease and precision. The team had incredible control when it came to sound modulation.
Anantharaman’s interpretation of ‘Seshachala Nayakam’ (Varali) and ‘O! Rangasayee’ (Khambodi) revealed his understanding of the the grandeur of the pieces. These specific aspects created the impression that he was on a journey to discover the past following in the footprints of the veterans he had accompanied.
As the speakers felicitating him referred to his prowess in Hindustani music, Anantharaman gave a sample of it by a sparkling raga alapana of Brindavana Saranga followed by the song ‘Soundararajam.’
When the violinists were so framed, can the percussionists J. Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and S. Karthick (ghatam) be far behind? Their supportive role was telling in their extraordinary insight into the way harmony and balance were stressed upon.
In providing glimpses of the sweep and range of their talent, enviable degree of felicity, melodic in concept and, scholarly and erudite, their display was impressive not because of their brilliance alone but because of the rhythmic depth they displayed.