Saturday, March 10, 2007

Farid Al Atrache - Noura

Farid Al Atrache with Layla Aljazayriya (?) singing Noura.

Farid El Atrache (October 19, 1915 - December 26, 1974) (Arabic: فريد الأطرش) was a Syrian composer, singer, virtuoso oud player, and actor. He is one of the most important names of twentieth century Arab music. He starred in 31 Egyptian musical films from 1941 - 1974.

Over his lifetime, Farid he recorded approximately 350 songs. He composed music for such famous singers as Wadih El-Safi, Shadia, Warda, and Sabah. Some of the most famous songs include "Rabeeh", "Awal Hamsa", "Hekayat Gharami", "Albi Wa Moftaho", "Gamil Gamal", "Wayak", "Ya Zahratan Fi Khayali", "Busat Ir Rih", "Ya Gamil Ya Gamil", "Ya Habaybi Ya Ghaybeen", "Eish Inta". He is considered by many Arab musicians as the best oud player of all time. His songs are still used in many belly dance routines today. His voice and emotional singing style was unique. Farid is still one of the most imitated singers in Arabic music.
Throughout his singing career, he was admired for his vocal range and singing ability. Many of his songs, and nearly all of his concerts, Farid would sing a mawal, or voice improvisation of a few poetic lines. These improvisations sometimes lasted up to 35 minutes. The mawal was a favorite of his fans, as his musical creativity and vocal ability were on highest display. His music is famous for it's quality of "Tarab" or ecstasy, and isloved by dancers for that reason.

His last movie, Nagham Fi Hayati, was released after his death. All his films except the last two were black and white. They ranged from comedies to dramas. Farid composed all the songs in his movies, including the songs sung by other singers, and instrumentals. Some of Farid's famous movies include Intisar al-Shabab, Yom Bila Ghad, Ahd el-Hawa, and Lahn al-Kholoud.

His sister Asmahan, also a famous singer, died at a very young age. He was romantically linked with the famous dancer Samia Gamal with whom he starred in at least five films.

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