Maharajapuram Ramachandran’s music was a spiritual journey
Maharajapuram Ramachandran sings with an authoritative virile voice and the style is characterised by stability and maturity. He was singing under the auspices of Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha at Mysore, accompanied by Charulatha Ramanujam (violin), G.S. Ramanujan (mridanga) and V.S. Ramesh (morsing).
Many remarkable features figured through out the concert. In fact, it was excellent team work where a veteran inspired his accompanists at every level, and the final outcome made a deep and memorable impact on every listener.The observations gain tenable support when one takes a look at “Sheshaachala Naayakam” (Varali-Dikshithar). The tempo he had chosen and the dignified progressions, creamed off every musical element and finer aspects nested in both the raga and the lyrics.
Particularly, his expressions at “Mandhahasavadhanam svachchandha hridhayasadhanam” (charana) and elaborations on “Aravindapathra nayanam” ushered the listeners into the ineffable world of serenity , where one could visualise that pristine luminosity of the Lord. Swarakalpana in this part was an admirable extension of the same mood he created in the lyrical sections.
Once again, his involvement and diction in “Dhinamani Vamsha Thilaka” (Harikamboji - Thyagaraja), drawing all the advantages from his well-chiselled vocal inflections and the gamut of his voice, appropriately assisted by the imaginative and consistent melody-accompanist Charulatha Ramanujam, enlivened the composition.
Further, the lyrics in the charana sections “Nirvikaraguna nirmalakaradhritha”, by connecting the thoughts with similar expressions of divine purity, maintained an uninterrupted flow of transcending moments.
A reciprocal relationship established between the lead artiste and his accompanists resulted in a musical interaction amounting to what may be termed as tuneful conversations.
The percussionists played a significant role in following the singer’s manodharma, to reinforce the pleasant outcome.
Raga Kharaharapriya-thana-pallavi “Shrikrishna Naamam Bhajare” (with swarakalpana in raagamaalika), “Naagagaandhaari Raaganuthe” (Naagagaandhaari-Dikshithar), “Pranatharthiharam” (Junjuti-Vasudevacharya), “Kshirabdhikannike” (Raagamaalika-Purandaradasa) were other highlights.
In the midst of all these exceptional accomplishments, there was still a distractive spoilsport making its presence felt, and this was the swara-oriented approach. He could have avoided appending swarakalpanas to the varna (“Inthatslamu” -Begade-Veena Kuppayya), which already embodied ettugade swaras, and “Shivathrayam Mahaganapathin” (Naata - Swarnavenkatesha Dikshithar), which has chitteswaras).V. NAGARAJ