It is generally accepted that Ghantasala brought classical padyaalu (as well as more contemporary works) to life by his original style of rendering. To quote V.A.K Ranga Rao
His way with the Telugu padyam (verse) was incomparable. Padyam was a part of the performing arts of Andhra, mostly through mythological dramas, for 50 years. The intent was primarily musical- with what intricate curlicues, what breath control the singer managed being more important than characterisation or serving the needs of the moment in the play.
Ghantasala changed all this with his sophisticated interpretation (not on stage but on 78 rpm gramophone records) of the author's intent, the character's intent, the character's turmoil being at once musical and accessible. These verses were rendered without tala (rhythm) as before but he generally had a short, metrical musical interlude doing what background music does in films, setting the stage and emphasising the mental stage of the character. Poets Karunasri and Jashuva enjoyed great regard amongst the literatteurs, but it was Ghantasala who rendered their songs and introduced their work to the man on the street.
A further example of this can be found in the tribute to Ghantasala "Gaanamadhuri" by Atloori Choudhury garu. There is a segment where the traditional "naaTakam" style of singing "adigO dwaaraka" is contrasted with Ghantasala gari paddhati. It is the good fortune of the Telugu people that this great singer thus unlocked the great poetry of the past and brought it within reach of Everyman.
Here we present the padyaalu of Ghantasaala up until 1960. Listen and enjoy!