This is a devotional song, a Sai Bhajan, played by Dr. Kadri Gopalnath as one of the concluding pieces of his concert at the Darbar Festival 2011. He elevates the mood of the concert with this emotive rendition of the hymn, bringing out an excellent team-play from his co-musicians.
The bhajan is set to Raag Subhapantuvarali, a devotional melody of the Carnatic repertoire. Dr. Gopalnath displays dynamic musicality in this piece by raising the tempo higher and elaborating the raga with a brief but indulgent array of phrases.
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), Bangalore Praveen (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam) provide an outstanding support to this rendition.
Raag Subhpantuvarali is the 45th Melakarta in the sampurna mela system of the Carnatic repertoire. It is the 3rd raga in the 8th chakra (Vasu Chakra). The notes present in this raga are shadja, shudh risabha, sadharana gandhara, prati madhyama, panchama, shudh dhaivata and kakali nisada. The ascending and descending movements are as follows:
S R1 G2 M2 P D1 N3 Ṡ - Ṡ N3 D1 P M2 G2 R1 S
In Western music notation, if C is taken as the base or tonic note, then the scale is
C C# D# F# G G# B C – C B G# G F# D# C# C
Subhpantuvarali finds mention in treatises of the 18th century and later. It corresponds to Raag Toḍi of Hindustani music and offers ample scope for improvisation.
Re-Dha, Ga-Dha and Ma-Ni are pairs of the dominant and sub-dominant notes respectively.
It can portray an emotion like karuṇa (compassion) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or ‘bhakti bhava’. In fact, it is one of the ragas that can bring out ‘karuṇa rasa’ in the most effective manner and is often avoided on auspicious occasions such as weddings.
Dr. Kadri Gopalnath (saxophone)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Bangalore Praveen (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Kaviraj Singh (tanpura)
Raag Subhpantuvarali, Sai Bhajan