This section contains some excerpts of Mani Iyer’s music from his concerts.
A firm believer in the power of Navagrahas, Mani Iyer made it a point to include the Navagraha Kritis every day in his concerts. Any Sample size taken to exhibit his music would not be complete without including at least one Navagraha Kriti rendered by him. Presenting here the Navagraha Kriti Budhamasrayami in Raga Nattakurinji. As usual with Mani Iyer, it is rendered with Mindboggling swaras. Govindasamy Naicker on the Violin and Madurai Krishna Iyerngar on the Mridangam respectively.
The occasion is Ramanavami of 1967, and Mani Iyer decides to include a short piece in his concert. This excerpt perfectly encapsulates the magical flow in Mani Iyer’s music. Sri. T.N. Krishnan on Violin and Sri. Vellore Ramabhadran on Mridangam were the accompanists for this concert.
Jyothiswarupini is a difficult Raga to handle and therefore rarely touched upon, but Mani Iyer handles it effortlessly here. This effortlessness was in fact a defining feature of Mani Iyer's music. He made even the most difficult Ragas appear ridiculously easy to sing, as shown in this excerpt. The great Lalgudi Jayaraman and the virtuoso Palani Subramaniya Pillai are the accompanists. Notice how the Mridangam is unobtrusive but still manages to shine through. Truly, stuff of the Legends!
Mani Iyer renders Vinayakuni in Madhyamavathi Raga with brilliant Alapana, Niraval and of course magical swaras. When talking about Mani Iyer, his Niraval singing is often not mentioned as much as his Swara singing but after listening to this rendition, perhaps it should be! accompanists are T.N. Krishnan and Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman.
After hearing Mani Iyer for the first time, the great T.N. Rajarathiram Pillai remarked that his name should have been Madhuram (sweet) Mani Iyer. Listening to his Jutha Murare, one can understand why Sri. T.N.R had said it. This concert was held in Pudukottai, with Maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman and the redoubtable Palakkad Mani Iyer as accompanists.
Madurai Mani Iyer’s Mohanam was always considered very special. After all, if Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, considered the authority on Mohanam called you “Mohana Mani”, your Mohanam had to be pretty special. This brief alapana in Mohanam, followed by the Kriti Evarura, gives you an outlook on how Mani Iyer usually handles the raga. Rendered at the Music Academy in 1964, with T.N. Krishnan and Vellore Ramabhadran on Violin and Mridangam Respectively.
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