مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Hadhihi laylati (Qasr al-Nil 03-04-1969)

25-01-2008, 12:35
Another exception to our rule of concentrating on pre-1964 songs and concerts of Umm Kulthum.
George Jerdaq and Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab's "Hadhihi Laylati" was fist sung on 05-12-1968. Some of the sung parts are quite nice, but the orchestral sections are outrageously occidentalized, in a very naïve way, and at times simply embarrassing for Arabic art music. Not to mention arpeggio-like ornaments performed in some parts by the band (with melodic sentences in 3agam, of course)...

But it seems that on 03-04-1969, the lady was in a good mood, and she performed some amazing improvisations in this rendition, with a voice that is hard to believe is her 1969 voice
- The whole 56' > 61' section, on "ya habiban qda tala fihi suhadi", starting shahnaz > higaz > bayyati husayni > bayyati tahir (same scale, concentrating on rast/nawa) > back to shahnaz.
- The repeat impro on Ya habiban qad tala, only shahnaz, extremely brilliant, 1:07:28 > 1:09:12
- The usual short impro on Sahara al-shawqu fil 3uyuni l-gamila is here a long one, with audacious sentences, 3agam (1:16:40 > 1:20:40). Although this is not my favorite maqam, Umm Kulthum here makes it clear 3agam is indeed an Arabic maqaam, unlike the histrionics of Abd al-Wahhab's melody. She boldly closes her improvisation with a qafla saba/duka (we will consider for the sake of the argument that ths daraget al-rukuz is dukah), that puzzles the instrumentalists since the next section (halla fi laylati) is sikah...
Nice descent to qarar at 1:18:44, not the most precise in Kulthumian history but still very palatable.
And even the usual ahaat in heterophony during the orchestra's melodic sentence before halla ya laylati are good and original.
In short, this is by far the best rendition of a questionable song, and it features excellent moments.

And of course, as usual, many thanks to Kamal for providing this recording.

25-01-2008, 22:51
great concert, the ajam-ashiran section that you mention (1:17-1:20) is really nice

26-01-2008, 03:49
This concert was available, at least Beirut, in 1999-2000. It was commercialized by Relax Inn as "hadhihi laylati; hafla kamila", with the sono cairo logo.
But I have noticed some differences, or some parts that were added/deleted. For example, the interruption in the third repetition of 'wal massa2ou alladhi tahada ilayna' at min 40:00 to 40:30 is missing, but most importantly, after her impro of "ya habibi w anta khamri wa ka'ssi", she repeats the whole paragraph "saharo esshawqi...", which makes it more reasonable than moving to the last paragraph. Fred, I think this is where you said that the instrumentalists were puzzled (1:20:00-1:20:44). I don't know if on the tape I have, the repetition was added, or on the recording you uploaded, it's missing.

I have cherishly kept this tape, although this song is not among my favorites. But as Fred described it, the lady's voice is surprisingly capable in this rendition, which leads me to believe that it was the quality of the compositions, more than the voice, that shunned her away from beatiful improvisations. When she was in a good mood, as in Morocco and Kuwait 1968, this concert an Baalbeck 1970, she was able to display her vocal "muscles" in a way that was clearly beyond her age's capabilities.

My favorite part of this concert is the impro on "sahary esshawqi fil 3ouyon el gamila" between 1:16 and 1:20. I particularly like her vibratto followed by the qarar at 1:18:46-1:18:56.