Telugu Cinema has been quite fortunate right from its formative years. It has always been gracious enough to welcome talent from other states and embrace them as own in many occasions. Thought his has been quite on the way for actors, singers and so on- the question of a non Telugu speaker composing music for a Telugu composition was always a debatable point until one legendary composer arrived in the arena! This gentleman didn’t confine himself with just sugary and melodious songs spiked with Indian flavor, but explored more horizons of international genres- without losing the indigenous essence. He is none other than pride of South Indian Film Music- M.S.Vishwanathan!
M.S.Vishwanathan collaborated with Ramamurthy, another legendary composer and this duo began making wonders in South Indian Films from 1950s decade. This duo mesmerized the audience with superior knowledge in carnatic music and usage of versatile musical instruments back in that age! Their composition ‘Chesedhi Emito’ from ANR starrer Tenali Ramakrishna itself is an example of their expertise and how effectively they struck the philosophical chord through music.
Later, this amazing personality began composing individually and naturally he had the flair of exploring the contemporary sounds, fun elements and at the same time careful enough that these new sounds do not tamper the lyrics of a song. Hear to any MSV composed song, you can effectively layer out each aspect of it- let it be orchestration, strings, lyrics, or the vocals. Every aspect of the song has a distinct quality and this was first brought into limelight by MSV. We all know how this one aspect was put into complete form by Maestro Ilaiyaraja- who also happens to be a huge fan of MSV!
When a struggling young SPB approached MSV to get some singing opportunities in Madras, it was MSV who guided him saying to become a singer in one language, mastering it is quite essential. Coming to the amazing humble man off the studio, there are ample examples to prove this fact. In an event, Ilaiyaraaja himself explained how concerned MSV is. He said MSV composes a tune, and calls the office boy in the studio asking, “Brother, please hear this tune and tell me whether you like it or not!”. If at all the office boy says it is not that good, he immediately changes to another! In a tough field like music and arts, who else except MSV can have the integrity to admit he is a fan of Ilaiyaraaja in the presence of hundreds of people?
MSV gets deep into the character of a song, the motivation behind it, lyricist’s intention and ultimately- the director’s vision. Perhaps this is the reason why his best work came from collaborating with K.Balachander. There are lot of similarities between the working style of these two gentlemen and as fate could have it, they gave some immortal numbers to the Telugu Audiences. MSV is also a master of folk numbers which have extreme rawness and delicate rendering of emotions which would put music critics in awe even till date!
It is indeed a dark day today for South Indian Film Music lovers with the sad demise of MSV. iQlikmovies mourns the death of this master class personality and the way he transformed film music in the formative years. Though he is not physically present among us, his music will always be remembered, cherished and adored forever!