Fairuz

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Fairuz
LABELS: Manteca
ALBUM TITLE: Fairuz – The Lady and the Legend
WORKS: Fairuz – The Lady and the Legend
PERFORMER: Fairuz
CATALOGUE NO: MANTCD 053
The title recalls EMI’s ‘The

Advertisement

Legendary Fairuz’, but this is an

infinitely superior compilation.

Born c1934, Fairuz (alias Huhad

Haddad) has been the unchallenged

queen of Lebanese popular music

for 50 years. Her refusal to emigrate

to safety during the civil war was

one reason why her compatriots

grew to adore her, but the real

reason is her voice: clean and

unadorned, but with the constant

hint of melisma, and drenched in

fervent emotion.

For the first half of her career

she sang songs by Asi Rahbani

(whom she married), to lyrics by

his brother Mansour; the gap left

when her marriage broke up has

now been filled by her jazz-composer

son Ziad, six of whose songs we

hear on this disc. The others are

classical Arab songs with traditional

orchestral accompaniment: where

her voice leads, massed strings follow

in unison. But with its brief but

excellent liner notes, this disc also

scores high on surprise: we even get

a three-minute studio discussion

before she launches into one of her

Advertisement

best-loved numbers. Michael Church