Mohammed Abdel Wahab (1899 - 1991)

Started by Jon Silpayamanant, March 08, 2011, 10:58:26 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jon Silpayamanant

Was watching a youtube video of Mohammed Abdel Wahab's Han El Wedd played as a cello solo with Arabic Orchestra and thought what would the Concerto sound like if it had developed in Egypt rather than Italy?  Here's cellist, Emad Ashour, performing the tune at the Cairo Opera House with the Cairo Opera House Orchestra.  The conductor is  Seleem Sehab.

Any other fans of Wahab or other Classical Egyptian composers here?

Mirror Image

Sad to say I'm not familiar with any Egyptian composers. I am, however, familiar with a few African composers mainly from South Africa, but the majority of Africa is complete blind spot for me. I hope to explore more music from this continent soon. What is Wahab's music like?

Jon Silpayamanant

Argh--it looks like the youtube video I posted isn't working?

He basically composed in a modified Arabic tradition.  After 1932 when the Cairo Congress discussed how Western music and musical culture should be integrated into Middle Eastern Culture, he was one of the first (and he was heavily criticized for it) to start incorporating some Western music idioms into the native art music tradition of Egypt.  If you're at all familiar with the Arabic and Ottoman art music traditions--that what he's doing.  Here's the video link:

Jon Silpayamanant

A live performance of his waslah (roughly translated "suite" : literally translated "stretch") "Enta Omri" (1964) which was composed for the Egyptian diva, Um Kalthoum.  The waslah is written in maqam kurd.

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6

The length of this performance is close to 60 minutes, which is deceptive--depending on audience reaction/response, waslah performances can be anywhere from 45 minutes to two or three hours.  Improvised sections have long been a part of the Arabic art music traditions and you'll hear some of that in this version of "Enta Omri."



Welcome, Jon!  click on quote to see how it's done.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Jon Silpayamanant

Quote from: Sherman Peabody on March 09, 2011, 08:44:04 AM

Welcome, Jon!  click on quote to see how it's done.

Thanks, Sherman!  I think I got it now--!  And thanks for the welcome as well!


Hello Jon,

I am hoping you know much more about classical music from Africa because I only know a few composers and less works from Africa and expect that there are a lot more (especially those with works for violin and orchestra, which is my focus):

from Northern Africa:
Maurice Benhamou
Sherif Mohie Eldin
Attia Sharara
Gamal Abdel Rahim
Ahmed Achour

and a lot of from South Africa, which are quite "popular" compared to composers from other regions in Africa.

So which African composers you know of? Just drop some names (or a lot names), that I can do some research.