‘Gopalaka Pahimam’ is a composition of Maharaja Swati Tirunal (1813-1846) in Raag Revagupthi. Set to Misra Chapu tala, the composition is a beautiful narrative of all the ‘kalyana guna’ or the magnificent qualities of Lord Krishna, the flute-playing diety of the Hindus. Maharaja Tirunal was the king of Travancore in southern India and also an acclaimed musician and composer of his time with more than 400 songs of Carnatic and Hindustani repertoires to his credit.
Mysore A Chandan delivers this beautiful kriti plumbing its devotional emotions and also portraying the vignettes of this morning raga. Accompanying him on the violin is Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth. The percussions are handled by Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam).
Exploring the introductory phrases, Chandan adorns the kriti with a garland of sangatis and swaras, laying bare the many facets of Revagupthi. He plays the sustained notes with long, reposeful breaths while the fluttering and fast-paced improvisations lift the spirit of the composition towards the end. Combined creative efforts of Dr. Srikanth, Venkatesh and Prakash in elevating the beauty and emotions of this composition remains the dominant feature of this piece.
Revagupthi is a janya ragam (derived scale) of the 15th melakarta Mayamalavagowla. It is a morning melody, a pentatonic scale, also known as audava ragam. Its corresponding ragas in the Hindustani music are Raag Rewa and Raag Bibhas.
Revagupti is a symmetric raga that does not contain madhyama or nisadha. It is a symmetric pentatonic scale in Carnatic music classification. Its arohana and avarohana are as follows:
S R₁ G₃ P D₁ Ṡ
Ṡ D₁ P G₃ R₁ S
The notes used in this scale are shadja, suddha risabha, antara gandhara, panchama and suddha dhaivata, as per Carnatic music notation and terms for the swaras.
Mysore A Chandan (flute)
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Raag Revagupthi, Kriti composed by Swathi Tirunal (1813-1846)