Raag Dhanyasi is a rarely performed melody and yet, the Malladi brothers give to it a spectacular spin in this excerpt from the Darbar Festival 2018. This is the opening piece of their first performance which was awaited eagerly by the audiences.
They perform a wonderfully coordinated, brief alapana and begin a Saint Thyagaraja kriti - ‘Sangeetha Gyanamu.’ A gem of a composition, Thyagaraja depicts through his lyrics that the mere knowledge of music is not enough; It is the devotion from one’s heart that accompanies music to make it the best and the most direct form of worship to the God Almighty.
The song is elaborated by sharp and crisp swarakalpanas – rapid notes that gracefully delineate the devotional emotion of this raga. The duo is supported by a stellar ensemble in this concert.
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the violin, Trichy Sankaran on the mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on the ghatam bring their individual flavours raising the bar of this concert several eons higher. Trichy Sankaran sets the pace and grandeur of this composition with a resounding flourish at the onset of this song.
Dhanyasi is an upanga janya of the 8th meḷakarta Hanumatoḍi. It is an auḍava-sampurṇa raga, that is, it uses five notes in its ascent and all seven notes in its descent. The swaras present in this raga are ṣaḍja, sadharaṇa gandhara, suddha madhyama, pachama, kaisiki niṣada. Suddha dhaivata and suddha riṣabha occur in descent. Dhanyasi is a rakti raga or a raga which pleases instantaneously. Gandhara, madhyama and niṣada are ragachaya swaras and nyasa swaras. G-N, M-N are vadi-samvadi svaras (consonant notes). It can portray rasas like karuṇa (compassion) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
Malladi Sreeramprasad (vocal)
Malladi Ravikumar (vocal)
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi (violin)
Trichy Sankaran (mridangam)
Giridhar Udupa (ghatam)
Priya Sharma & Srutti Suresan (tanpuras)
Raag Dhanyasi, Composition by Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847) in Adi talam