Dr. Ganesh is a musician of good standing and lived up to his reputation. The concert was peppered with ‘Santhanam-esque’ phrases and swara korvais that have become second nature to Ganesh. Or perhaps his diehard listeners yearned for a reproduction of the Maharajapuram Santhanam aura.
Ganesh’s song list was put together thoughtfully – ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ (Mohana Kalyani, Muthiah Bhagavathar) at the start was followed by ‘Pariyachakama’ (Vanaspati) from the Santhanam stable. The Khamas raga alapana was attractive and Ganesh sang the rare kriti, ‘Sri Swaminathaya Namaste’ set to Kanda chapu, a Dikshitar rarity.
‘Kana Vendamo’ of Sivan added to the sensitive mood before Ganesh launched an expansive and proficient raga alapana of Simhendramadhyamam. Karvais and brigas alternated well to bring out the rainbow colours of the ragam.
Ganesh’s rendition of ‘Rama Rama Gunaseema’ (Swati Tirunal) showcased the layers of sangatis pleasingly using a powerful voice. While the niraval at ‘Munimanasadama’ did not offer anything significant, the swara duel and kuraippu with violinist Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan was ‘box-office’ stuff.
Ganesh also had an elaborate tukkada repertoire. A good viruttam spanning Hamsanandi, Nilambari, Shanmukhapriya and Khambodi followed by ‘Kailasa Vasane’ (Khambodi), ‘Thunganaditira’ (Brindavana Saranga), a song on the Kanchi seer (Chenchuruti) and a Kuntalavarali piece – all were fitted in well into the two-hour concert.
T.R. Sundaresan on the mridangam enhanced the concert throughout with good alignment to the songs and sensitive support. His thani along with A.S. Krishnan on the morsing capped a good concert.
Dr. Ganesh’s manodharma performance convinced one that perhaps he should sing more like himself.