Sancharas Nalinakanti and Mohanam were expanded on a grand scale. H. Ramakrishnan

W ell begun is half-done. M.K. Sankaran Namboothiri commenced his evening concert with Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar's ‘Sivathraya Maha Ganapathim' in Nattai. It has an unusual Pallavi, having all the three kaalaas and eduppu as in Desaadhi. Its chittaiswaram is gracefully symmetrical. Namboothiri added a few apt kalpanaswaras and Mysore V Srikanth on the violin just excelled in this.

GNB's ‘Nee Paadhame Gathi,' which is the very definition of Nalinakanthi was rendered in all its beauty. ‘Sri Parvathi Sankari' provided the suitable place to generate some lilting kalpanaswaras. After a relaxed Arabhi alapana which included a few fast raga sancharas, Namboothiri presented ‘ Naadhasudhaarasa' of Tyagaraja in Rupakam.

Oothukkadu is a vaagyeyakaara from whom you can expect varied kriti formats. His Gati Bheda sequences are as charismatic as they are spontaneous. The Hamir Kalyani piece, ‘ Naadha Murali Gaanaviloala' is one such. It begins in Thisra nadai and its Chathusra nadai charanam is a creation of melodic beauty. Sankaran Namboothiri brought out its full charm. Dikshitar's ‘ Sriguruguhathaarayaasumaam' came out in a powerful Suddha Saveri.

Showing expertise

Nevertheless, his Mohanam alapana overshadowed all earlier efforts. It was a unique interpretation pointing to the artist's expertise. Srikanth's delineation was equally bright and tuneful. ‘Maati Maatiki' of Tyagaraja in Misra Chapu was the kriti. The niraval and kalpanaswaras were at ‘Mangalakararoopa.' The Thani offered by the veteran Guruvayur Dorai (mridangam) and Pudukkottai Ramachandran (ghatam) was one of the best among those this critic had a chance to listen to this season. Dorai's ultra soft touch and superfast patterns were bewitching.

The Vaasanthi Ragam Thanam and Pallavi, ‘Velava, Vadivelava, Manavaalava' in Khandajaathi Triputai was outstanding. It had Trikalam, Thisram and Ragamalika Swaras in Revati, Hindolam and Valaji. The rhythm section offered a mini-thani. Gopalakrishna Bharati's Behag piece, ‘ Irakkam Varaamal' created a different mood. Narayana Thirthar's Tharangam, ‘Jaya Jaya Durge' in Durga, Sri Vadi Raja's ‘ Baaro Murare' in Desh and the Yamuna kalyani javali were well presented.

Sankaran Namboothiri concluded his concert with Lalgudi's Pahadi Thillana, Purandara Dasar's ‘Nanda Thanaya' in Abheri and a delightfully charming Ayyappan Song in Malayalam – a listener's request.