مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : The First Masters 5/5

19-05-2006, 12:24
Abduh al-Hamuli used to say that the greatest female voice was Almaz’s, and the greatest male voice was Muhammad Saalim’s. He was an old man when commercial recording started in the Orient, and his name is always followed by «el kebir» or «el-3aguz». He nevertheless recorded for Gramophone, Odeon, Baidaphone and Polyphon. The few informations mentioned by Qastandi Rizq and Fikri Butrus do not appear very reliable. Was he a mere servant who became a singer after listening to great vocalists ? Did he enjoy considerable success during a tour of Syria in 1900 ? Was he really born in 1840, or before ? Did he die in 1929 ?
His voice seems used and yet deeply moving, particularly in his ahat and layali. His vibrato is almost syrian-like, almost more Ottoman than Egyptian (the contrary of Manyalawi for instance).
In this clear rendition of the «pre-dor» or «archeo-dor» "Ya hliwa ya msallini", he relies heavily on the madhhabgeyya in the repeated madhhab, but manages alone in the aghsan, and listen to his surprising ahaat at 2:35, to his dying qaraar at 3:40, to his ornaments, to his very imaginative version. The short final layali are remarkable.
I have heard this dor many times by takht-like ensembles in Cairo in the last 15 years, who always managed to turn this piece into pure boredom, playing it repetetively and machine-like. But el-Aguz proves that a great singer can turn this mere ditty into a real work of art.

محمد سالم الكبير / دور بياتي : يا حليوة يا مسليني
dor / Ya hliwa ya msallini
Gramophone 7-212166/67
Recorded Cairo, date unknown (could be found with the matrix nb, but the catalogue nb is not sufficient). Appeared on the catalogue in 1921, which means nothing regarding date of recording.

أبو علاء
19-05-2006, 12:44
I see you kept the best for the end (thinking in French, writing in English:) ). This is indeed impressive. Yes, his voice is obviously "worn" by age, but a great mutrib! His qaflas (in particular the one in shuri in the madhhab), that jaharkah drift min. 3' 40 and onward and of course the 'ahat and the closing layali (in both he braves his physical limits) are fantastic. You didn't mention that pronounced (sa'idi, I think) accent of his already perceivable in the "i" of imla, but all the more obvious in "dakhalt-aneh" and "qalli-l-helewe" as well as "welhaddi-'imta-l-baghdede".
Remarkable, boss!

19-05-2006, 13:26
And what a master the last master turned out to be!

Indeed the vibratos are very close to the Turkish Gazel style that influence the Shami singing.

But I also notice that the actual poetry is close to the Shami style of Qudud more than the dors. (Gazal, Rumman, Mharram, etc.. all reminds me of Adib Dayikh's mawwals).

Thanks from
Najib el 3aguz!

أبو علاء
19-05-2006, 13:48
With all due respect, I think I'm among you all the closest one to such title, Najib. As for the dor format. That's what Fred hinted at by his various qualifications in the beginning. This seems to be the original pattern before the developments introduced by Maslub, Hamuli and 'uthman. On the one hand, it evokes an archaic form of taqtuqah as Fred put it in his thesis. On the other hand, it seems to be related to Aleppine qadd (is it a coincidence that this one as well as Ya mas'adi-s-subhiyah are among the most commonly interpreted dors in Syria? And don't forget the story according to which it's Shakir Al-halabi who "brought" the muwashashah and dor art into Egypt). Ya-hliwa (or Rayih fin according to another version) is not the only sample we have of that brand. Ya mas'adi-s-subhiyah previously mentioned is another one and I think we can add Jaddidi ya nafsu hadhdhak even though it is apparently more recent.

19-05-2006, 14:42
I'm happy my ear is in a good shape.

I think it's high time I print that thesis. Laser printer here I come!

20-05-2006, 16:23
مشكور سيدي الكريم على هذا التسجيل النادر

Tarik Beshir
29-04-2010, 15:20

Wow. I enjoyed this on so many levels for its beauty, its historical value, and listening to one of the masters of the 1800s arabic music demonstrate what it was like to be a "motrib" in that era...total control and masterful craft. An eye opener indeed.

Thank you.