مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Kunuz Dar Al Kotob - 2/3

27-05-2006, 00:13
In spite of being extremely famous, and beautifully sung by Marie Jubran in the late 40s or early 50s, dor/ asl el-gharam nazra wasn't often recorded at the beginning of the century.
Abd al-Hayy Hilmi's version is all the more precious to understand how it came under its present appearance.
Hilmi is completely obsessed in this 4 side version with "yalli kawet el fu'ad erham", and has wonderful ideas, like inversing the order and ending the sentences with yalli (kawet el fu'ad erham yalli, 4'10" >, like Munira will some years later alter Ta-3ala > 3ala-Ta in Asmar malak ruhi), or simply playing with the word "yalli" during almost a whole face.
asbab danaya el-3en on bayyati is also beautifully sung.
This version is completely hilmic, obsessive, tortured, magnetised by his own voice.
7'52" asbab danaya el-3en turning tragic is also very touching, as his falling back to yalli kawet he absolutely doesn't want to turn away from.
Actually, this record gives a hint of what a *live* Hilmi concert must have been like, the singer choosing a mere section of the dor he feels comfortable with and offering his own reading of the composer's work, completely unconcerned by any concept of "fidelity", of "respecting the composition", but also very far from the inshadic "architectural" imagination Manyalawi, Higazi and later Ali al-Hareth will develop. "wa ana l-mughanni kama dhaa3 we-shaa3" as he says in "halali balali", not the shayh at all. The secular, urban mutrib here is the only master. Words are mere sounds he toys with. He doesn't sing much more than 4 or 5 notes, he never pretends to be a composer, and yet see the magic he does with them.
Also appreciate the leli lel after el-wa3d-e da, 11'22">.
Hilmi proves here to be the opposite of Manyalawi and Safti, he is Ibrahim b. al-Mahdi, he is the lion pacing his cage. Rahimaka allah ya 3abd al-Hayy wa adkhalaka fasih gannaatih.

Abd al-Hayy Hilmi, dor rast / asl el-gharam nazra
Baidaphon 19138/39/40/41
circa 1908
عبد الحي حلمي / دور أصل الغرام نظرة
the light version is the same recording with harsher encoding
الوثيقة الخفيفة هي نفس التسجيل بتركيز أقوى

27-05-2006, 11:14
ألف ألف شكر يافريد يا بيت الكنوز والنوادر

27-05-2006, 12:06
Dear Fred,

I won't be able to listen until Tuesday :-( which is extremely painful, but thanks a lot for everything.

أبو علاء
27-05-2006, 12:24
This is indeed a mega-event! I have been all the time longing for an interpretation of this dawr by one of the masters and is there a better representative of those than 'abdi-l-hay?!
To add to the pleasure, the sound quality is much better than that of 'abdu Dawud's Maliki. And Hilmi's performance here can easily be qualified as legendary.
Fred, this is indeed a typical Hilmian interpetation with all the ingredients you described so well and on which I totally agree. You see, tarab as much as beauty in general can be reached in several ways and shaped in several forms. One might be more attracted to a given "pattern" than to others, but this doesn't diminish, let alone deny, the esthetical validity/value of other patterns. It might even happen that we are equally charmed by various patterns at the same time.
Yes, I still believe that my analysis opposing an esthetics of continuity (Safti, Al-harith) to one of discontinuity (Hilmi or shall I say mainstream Hilmi, thinking of Allah yisun dawlit husnak) is relevant and I'm ofen more easily conquered by the former than by the latter. Yet, this doesn't prevent my appreciating and even admiring such masterpieces of that very latter and this 'asli-l-gharam is definitely one.
A few additional observations to yours:
Min.0' 50" and 1' 32" - what a delicious "m" sakinah in gharam!
Min. 1' 44" - that sort of voice faltering or hoarsness is moving.
Ya 'ini in 2' 10", ghayib in 2' 18" as well as 'ah in 1' 18" are Hilmi trademark utterances we would not find in Marie Jubran with all due respect to this lady.
What a fu'ad in 3' 32"! The same fu'ad is still there with an impressive juggling around min. 10! And how right you are about that obsession around this verse in he dawr!
Who's the kamani here, Fred? Is it Sahlun? His performance all along the dawr is remarkably sober or, how to put it?, "washed up".
A last remark, only now I realise that Salih 'abdu-l-hay inherited from his uncle up to his way of pronouncing "r" (ra')!

27-05-2006, 13:33
@ Abu Alaa' : I am so glad you liked this version ! I never used to listen to it because of its horrible sound quality, and it is only now that I've tortured the file with many filters and declicked it, that I have discovered, along with everybody, this incredible jewel. Once again, thanks for this forum that has forced me to get back to work on this music.
I think your theory of aesthetics of continuity vs. discontinuity is extremely valid. I actually wish you wrote an article on this (Arabic or French), based on those early recording artists' works. I'm only very much afraid the 3rd of "kunuz dar el kutub" mesh ha yekun fel mostawa, I should have kept this for the end...

Concerning the Shawwa or Sahlun debate, we would need a specialist of the violin to propose an educated guess. Nothing in the catalogues about it, since the non-dated Baidaphon catalogue mentioning Abd al-Hayy Hilmi simply states :
المرحوم عبد الحي افندي حلمي على تخت محمد افندي عمر وابراهيم افندي سهلون وسامي افندي الشوا
In this series, there are only 2 dors Abd al-Hayy sings on 4 sides : "Asl el gharam" and "3ala ruhi ana l-gani" (Baidaphon 1926/7/8/9), which is probably as well a fantastic piece that, unfortunately, I have never heard sung by Abd al-Hayy. Anani didn't have it and I don't even know if Dar al-Kutub has it, since letter ع for عبد الحي is in neither of the 2 printed volumes, qabbaha allah wuguhahum.

أبو علاء
27-05-2006, 14:08
I will think it over, Fred, and will see if I can come out with something worth reading the next few months. Having, at least, access to so many good quality recordings on the one had and reading your thesis on the other one has helped me a great deal in having clearer and bettered structured ideas about the classical Arab music scenery with substantiating material.
My sincere warmest thanks for both.
However, I need mcuh more time than I can presently afford and, it goes without saying, more listening.

30-05-2006, 14:11
I have a huge backlog of listening to do, but I made the mistake of downloading this one first, and, since the morning, I can't stop listening to it!!

That was a bad choice (on my behalf) :-)

The technical quality is good, no problem, and it's indeed a legendary rendition.

Thanks Fred.

17-01-2007, 15:14
Fred got me to listen to this gem again this morning.

Hilmi and his micro aesthetics are so illustrated in this wonderful recording.

Yalli of Yalli Kaweyt spans from 2’56 -> 10’31 spilling over from one disk to another!!

I’m just wondering what would it be like to listen to this guy in a sahrah/waslah away from the time constraints of the 78 recorded disk.

We shall never know, but still we can imagine, dream, and say ah from the bottom of the heart!