Descendent of Arab musical legend brings nostalgia to fest

      Published on Monday, 22 July , 2019      249 Views     
Descendent of Arab musical legend brings nostalgia to fest

  • Culture

Lebanon’s traditional summer festivals harked back to the Arab world’s musical past this year, highlighted by a performance by the great-granddaughter of the legendary 1930s diva Asmahan in a mountain palace.



Asmahan captivated audiences at a moment when European colonialism had replaced the Ottoman Empire, and cultural icons reached the masses via the new media of cinema and radio, tapping into a surging spirit of Arab nationalism.

Nearly a century later, her great-granddaughter Yasmina Joumblatt took to the stage recently to sing at the Beiteddine festival in an Ottoman-era palace in Lebanon’s Chouf mountains, accompanying the music of French-Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared.

“I was a great admirer of her as a woman. I discovered her art later in life. What we tried to do is honour her and revisit her work while living abroad,” said Joumblatt.

She sang two Asmahan songs arranged by Yared, as well as other pieces. “It’s (a process of) rebuilding the songs. I treated this as if I was treating great music,” said Yared, who won an Oscar for writing the music to The English Patient and has also scored many other films.

Bats flitted across the starry sky and coloured lights illuminated the ornate stonework of the triple-arched palace gate and the long arcade running to one side of the stage.

To the left, a constellation of distant lights showed where roads and villages tumbled down the long valley towards the Mediterranean, and behind the audience, a stone village crept between parasol pines up the hillside.

Asmahan was at one time seen as a rival even to the brightest of the region’s singers, the Egyptian diva Um Kulthoum, but she was killed in a car crash in 1944.

Joumblatt’s appearance provides a direct link to that earlier era when, the festival head Nora Jumblatt, a distant relation of Yasmina, said, “everything was possible”.

Asmahan was a scion of the Druze sect’s powerful al-Atrush dynasty, which led a rebellion against France in the 1920s.

Lebanon’s summer music festivals, set against the backdrop of its most impressive monuments like the Roman temples at Baalbak and the Crusader castle of Byblos, are an important feature in the country, Nora Jumblatt said.



“It is across society, not just for the elite. When great artists play, if you look up there are people sitting on the roadsides or on the roofs of their houses listening,” she said.

Keywords:
Category Culture | 2019/07/22 latest update at 9:25 AM
Source : Arab Times | Photocredit : Google
250 Views
Comments Add comment



Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Kuwait Media would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Kuwait and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Kuwait Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Kuwait, the Gulf and the world.


Kuwaiti Emir greets Sisi on July 23rd revolution anniversary Emir

Kuwaiti Emir greets Sisi on July 23rd revolution anniversary

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Monday sent a cable to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi…

Amir congratulates Algeria on win Emir

Amir congratulates Algeria on win

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah congratulated Algeria’s Council of the Nation President Abdelkader Bensaleh…

Region “critical and very dangerous “ Emir

Region “critical and very dangerous “

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah said Tuesday the foreign ministry has a further…

In Kuwait, King reiterates support for Arab Gulf in safeguarding stability Emir

In Kuwait, King reiterates support for Arab Gulf in safeguarding stability

His Majesty King Abdullah, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, held talks with Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah…

GULF TV

Popular in GULF TV

Kuwait city new bilding

2430 Views

Kuwait city new bilding

Latest videos in GULF TV

Technology

Kuwait lifestyle and lifestyle Kuwait news

Lifestyle

Kuwait lifestyle and lifestyle Kuwait news

Culture

Culture news and Kuwait culture news

Sport

Sport news from Kuwait and world sport news

Events

Kuwait Events and Events News

Government

Kuwait government News

Emir

News from the Emir of Kuwait