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Music in his genes

G.S. Paul
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Recital Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan proved that he has music in his blood during his concert in Thrissur. He is the son of T.V. Sankaranarayanan. G.S. Paul

Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan may not be a familiar musician in Kerala. But when he sang for more than three hours with unusual élan in Thrissur recently, many among the seasoned rasikas could realise that he belonged to a noble pedigree. Moreover, the musician appeared to be earnest in his approach to all the 13 numbers he sang with notable effervescence. During a short intermission, it was announced that the vocalist is the son of maestro T.V. Sankaranarayanan, who is the nephew of the great Madurai Mani Iyer. Mahadevan, who also holds an MBA in Finance, cherishes his career as a musician.

The concert began with ‘Pranatosmidevam,' a Tulaseevanam composition in Natta, Adi tala. As he moved on to ‘Guruvayurappa,' composed by Papanasam Sivan, swaras of Chakravaham came aplenty, proving his hold over the raga. This was also set to Adi. Raga Sahana had an impressive alapana, though short, and the kriti selected was ‘Abhayamba,' a famous composition of Dikshitar's. The Misra chap tala seemed to add variety to the rhythm followed so far.

Perfect sruti alignment

Rendition of ‘Venkataramana,' Papanasam Sivan's kriti in raga Latangi, Adi tala, was preceded by an extended elaboration of the raga, which brought out the perfect sruti alignment of the musician. Soon followed ‘Jaya Jaya Padmanabha,' Swati Tirunal's alluring lines in Manirangu, Adi. A much sought-after kriti, especially by Malayalis, Mahadevan made it a memorable rendition. ‘Sakala Graha,' composed by Purandaradasa in Atana, Khanta chap, was the next. ‘Enduku daya radura Sri Ramachandra nee,' Tyagaraja's Todi composition in Misra chap, followed with its entire splendour. In this kriti, the composer begs for Rama's compassion which is not forthcoming. The musician's dexterity in portraying the mood of supplication that is dominant in the kriti was demonstrative of his meticulous care for the sahithya. Niraval at ‘Thyagaraja' (‘Vinutha tharakacharitani') was delectable.

Mohanam by itself is sweet; but when Mahadevan took it up as the main raga in the concert it appeared sweeter still. Presented in two kala, the composition – Papanasam Sivan's ‘Kapali' – entailed nuances of the pentatonic raga in large measure. Manjoor Ranjith's avartana on the violin was in the right proportion.

Laudable tani

The percussion duo of Palakkad Mahesh Kumar (mridangam) and Trikkakkara Y.N. Santharam (ganjira) helped the musician to make the number a memorable one with a tani tagged to it that was conspicuous by the absence of high-decibel fireworks that is common to several concerts. This was specially laudable. Commendable was the utmost care taken by Mahesh in playing the pakkam, which added to the elegance of the vocal rendition throughout. Also his instrument had a resonant tone well aligned to sruti. Embellishments by Santaram were noteworthy. ‘Sevikka vendumayya,' a fast number, a Muthuthandavar composition in Andolika, Adi followed.

The alacrity with which the young musician ventured into an RTP in Shanmughapriya in Trisratripuda, that too after two-and-a half hours into the concert, was demonstrative of his zeal for music as also his acceptability by the rasikas. Transition to Behag and Hamsanandi was smooth.

Virutham, Kambar's ‘Nanmayum selvavum' in Hamirkalyani and Sindhubhairavi, Swati number ‘Ramachandra prabhu' in Sindhubhairavi and Tyagaraja's ‘Pahi Ramachandra' in Shadvidamargini (Melakarta 46) were the concluding ones.

The concert was held under the aegis of Rasikapriya.


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