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The legend returns
Nov 2, 2001 (Fri), Chennai
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cassette released by Music Today and sung by veterans S.P. Balasubramaniam and Chitra, and youngsters with promise, Srinivas, Ananthanarayanan and Kalpana, with the ever-energetic M.S. Viswanathan, is an aural treat for melody lovers.

MSV's yearning to bring the scintillating ghazal forms of the North, popularised by the likes of Ghulam Ali, Mehudi Hassan and Jagjit Singh, has resulted in this tremendous effort.

The accent, as the emcee of the evening Y. Gee. Mahendra pointed out, is on the lyrics, with melody accentuating the impact.

That Kamakodiyan's lyrics for all the numbers of ``Sangeetham Santhosham'' reminded one of the all time great, Kannadasan, is not an exaggeration only a statement of fact.
Music for the mood, they say. Here there were words penned for every mood and melody that so well blended with it.

The ghazal touches are ones we have heard in many of MSV's film numbers and admired over the years. Innumerable songs can be quoted as examples. So when ``Sangeetham...''numbers,``Kadhal Vilasam''and "Medhuvai Pesu...''(Kalpana sung the duets with SPB and Srinivas), the feelings transported you to a melodic plane yet again.

Everyone from Vali and Vairamuthu to A.V.M. Kumaran and K. Balachander, extolled the virtues of M.S. Viswanathan, who is a personification of humility.

Y.Gee. Mahendra's emceeing was not just isolated remarks or repartees. MSV joined in the comments and catechisms and that added to the jocund atmosphere.

The voice against terrorism, "Vaadham..Theeviravaadham", was the only song that did not seem to quite fit into the ghazal mould that one is used to. Probably the fast pace of the number made one feel so.

Several`whys' were put forth by the speakers that evening why has this great genius from the South not been given official recognition from the State or the Centre (like Dadasaheb Phalke award for instance, said SPB) still, why have singers like Ananthanarayanan with enchanting voices and clear diction not been given a chance in films, why is the potential of a lyricist like Kamakodiyan not getting its due.

The queries could go on. Who will field them before it is too late is another pertinent query.

M. S. Viswanathan with the dignitaries at the cassette release function. Pic. by C. K. Suresh.
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"A HOT bath, my bed, a dimly lit room and MSV's soothing melodies... that is my ideal way of relaxing after a hard day's work...", Vairamuthu told the gathering at the Kamaraj Memorial Hall, that evening. Many in the audience nodded in tacit approval.

Describing the occasion as just a cassette release function or another evening of music could be at once factually right and grossly erroneous because the songs presented promised to be numbers that will live on.

M.S. Viswanathan has tried something new in music for the South. Titled "Sangeetham Santhosham", the