Madurai G.S. Mani's scholarly recital was complemented by Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair's wizardry on the mridangam.
Madurai G.S. Mani has many feathers to his cap. In addition to being a practitioner of his bani of music, in the 60's he was a name to reckon with in Tamil film music as he was an assistant to hit music maker M.S. Viswanathan. He popularised Carnatic music through demonstration concerts on raga structures.
Crisp swaraprastharaThe veteran vocalist charmed listeners with his concert that adhered to tradition and explored the various facets of lakshana. His sonorous timbre and crisp swaraprasthara coupled with a complementary mridangam rendition by Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair enhanced the appeal of his concert. The recital began with a brisk varnam in Abhogi raga. The vocalist did justice to the sahitya of Dikshitar in `Sri Mahaganapathiravathu mam.' As the rare raga `Kosalam' in Kalyani unfurled with an etch on the nishadam, the vocalist treated the audience to a composition `Ka guha shanmukha' and articulate kalpanaswaras. After `Ra ramainti' in Asaveri, Mani proceeded to an impeccable delineation of Sudha Saveri that showcased the bhava in the raga. Mani presented a rare song `Paripalinchu.' The raga follow-up by Trichur Rajendran had his signature style of playing in short phrases. `Mokshamu galada,' the exquisite piece that talks of salvation through the practice of music, in Saramathi raga appealed with its majestic quality. Without dallying much on the first speed for the swara prasthara for `Thanuvuche vandana,' the vocalist kept the second speed swaras short. The much awaited tani avarthanam by Velukutty Nair and Ilanjimel Susheel Kumar (ghatom) was precise and compact and owed much to the vocalist for the `kalapramana' that he had chosen. Mani proved that he can be adept in Hindustani ragas through two self composed pieces `Darsan do ghanshyam' in Misra Khamaj and `Chandrasekharam' in Sindhubhairavi.A tillana in Kanada raga by Jalatarangam Babu Iyengar and verses from the Tiruppugazh concluded the recital. Poornathrayeesa Sangeeta Sabha organised the concert to pay tribute to the late Vaikom Vasudevan Nair.