Skip to content

Fatma Said – El Nour (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Fatma Said – El Nour (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:04:50 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Warner Classics

The young Egyptian soprano Fatma Said, praised for the luminosity and rich colours of her voice, makes her recording debut for Warner Classics with El Nour. Her enticing and absorbing recital programme crosses cultures, combining art songs by French, Spanish and Egyptian composers with Egyptian folk songs and popular songs from the Middle East. As she explains, “‘El Nour’ in Arabic means ‘the light’, and this album sheds light on how music that has been interpreted many times can be perceived in a different light. The idea is to connect three cultures – Arabic, French and Spanish – and to show how much, despite cultural, geographical and historical differences, they have in common when it comes to music”.

“Vieux pays merveilleux des contes de nourrice” (‘Old marvellous land of nursery tales’): These few words describe the irresistible and striking interpretation of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, now of a bygone era. The timbral lows and highs radiate from Egyptian soprano Fatma Said’s voice. Her exemplary diction shines. Each word is intelligible and each sound exists to colour the word, emphasising its meaning. Nobody would have thought that the singer’s extremely versatile musicality – reminiscent of Regine Crespin’s vibrant performances – would find an even greater versatility in the orchestral version, with Malcolm Martineau’s beautifully timbred and precise piano occasionally slowing things down.

The program completely immerses itself in Spain, with Rafael Aguirre’s subtle guitar substituting itself for Martineau’s piano. Other facets of Fatma Said’s voice are her musical agility and ethereal spirit, which are revealed in the two Falla pieces. The Canción de Marinela by José Serrano, where her voice thickens, will remain an unforgettable moment of sweet sensuality. It’s easy to start dreaming of Said exploring some other roles in zarzuelas, for which she would be divine! The three songs by Federico García Lorca, excerpts of the 13 Canciones españolas antiguas, are rather modest and of a noble elegance, even in the carnal arabesques of Nana de Sevilla. This is the perfect transition for the ‘Arabic’ songs that Fatma Said chooses next.

She introduces, for example, a pretty melody from Egyptian composer Gamal Abdel-Rahim (1924-1988), before flying off into the gorgeous Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe by Bizet where Burcu Karadağ’s nev (a sort of reed flute) improvises in counterpoint alongside the vocals. The last four pieces return to the Egyptian and Lebanese standards, in a jazzy and nostalgic atmosphere. This is a captivating album with overwhelming emotion! – Pierre-Yves Lascar

Details of original recording : Recorded: I.2020, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem (1–13); II.2020, Emil Berliner Studios, Berlin (14–17)


1. Fatma Said – Shéhérazade, M. 17: I. Asie
2. Fatma Said – Shéhérazade, M. 17: II. La flûte enchantée
3. Fatma Said – Shéhérazade, M. 17: III. L’indifférent
4. Fatma Said – Tus ojillos negros
5. Fatma Said – La canción del olvido: No. 2, Canción de Marinela
6. Fatma Said – 2 Cantares populares: No. 2, Del cabello más sutil
7. Fatma Said – Zaïde, H. 107, Op. 19
8. Fatma Said – Le repos en Égypte
9. Fatma Said – 13 Canciones españolas antiguas: No. 1, Anda jaleo
10. Fatma Said – 13 Canciones españolas antiguas: No. 6, Sevillanas del siglo XVIII
11. Fatma Said – 13 Canciones españolas antiguas: No. 8, Nana de Sevilla
12. Fatma Said – Ana Bent El Sultan
13. Fatma Said – Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe, WD 72
14. Fatma Said – Aatini Al Naya Wa Ghanni
15. Fatma Said – El Helwa Di
16. Fatma Said – Sahar El Layali (Kan Enna Tahoun)
17. Fatma Said – Yamama Beida


%d bloggers like this: