on 13 May 2003
This album is a wonderful collaboration between Hossam Ramzy and the qanun genius Maged Serour. I really liked the useful liner notes in this album - there's a biography for Maged Serour who is one of the top qanun players in the Middle East and Maged has also written a really useful description and history of the qanun. There are also pictures of the instrument for reference. Each song title has been translated into English and for each song there is a short description of the overall meaning of the song and who originally recorded or sung it. This album is a mix of very famous classic hits and new compositions put together by Hossam and Maged. I really liked the choice of songs on this album and the classic songs have been very tastefully and artistically recorded. I loved the way the album varies in tempo and mood but still each track beautifully flows into one another. The album starts off with the uptempo "El Helwa Dayer Shbbak-ha" originally composed by Mohamed El Mougy - as the liner notes say this is used a lot at weddings in Egypt, so if you're going to be dancing at a wedding, this song would make an excellent choice. It would also be great for intermediate and more advanced dancers who are looking to choreograph a lively qanun piece. "Layali El Sayedah" is a slower tempo piece that has a wonderful flowing feeling and a real sense of movement in the music, this would make a lovely practice or performance piece for beginners to have at combining shimmies with some moves, maybe figures 8 etc. "Habibi We Enaya" is again a more uptempo song, made famous by the late Mohamed Fawzy ; there is some lovely accordion in this piece and having heard the original song, I can say that Maged did a great job of playing the qanun in place of the vocals, it would make a great performance piece for intermediates/above. "El Ahram Fil Fagr" is wonderfully atmospheric slower paced piece with just a hint of that beautiful accordion which would be great for beginners. I really like "We Maly Bass" which is another classic, I really like the lovely combination of nay and qanun phrases in this song, this is another good song for intermediates or advanced dancers to perform to. "Alwan El Neel" would make a very interesting piece to choreograph a dance with as the rhythm changes in parts reflecting the different styles of music played along the Nile. My own personal favourite (and one of my all time favourites) is "Zai El Assal", this song originally recorded by the legendary Sabah is really amazing - it starts off with the most gorgeous piece of solo violin, you can really feel those notes moving and swaying. Every note played with every instrument in this song captures the beautiful emotion of the original song, check out that awesome mizmar - if that doesn't get you dancing nothing will! This track is a msuical masterpiece. It would make an absolutely sensational performance piece for intermediates and above. "Maliket Afrequia" is another new composition by Hossam and Serour, which again would make a good teaching/practice or performance piece for beginners to really get those shimmies moving. "Samra Ya Samra"/"Ennaby"/"Gamil Wasmar" is a medley of songs that work together extremely well. "Samra Ya Samra" was sung by the late and VERY VERY GREAT Karem Mahmoud, and was written for Nagwa Fouad, this is another one of my favourite tracks on this album, this would make a really classy performance piece for intermediates/advanced dancers. "Nassam Alenia El Hwaw" was originally sung by Fairouz, this would make a very nice performance for beginners. This album ends with the beautiful "Mon Amour" by the Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo" - this is really an amazing piece of music and the way Maged has played this piece here makes the piece seem this like it must surely have been written for the qanun. If you want to shimmy with style, then you need this album! Highly recommended!