Photo : Ferrante Ferrenti
Sabri Moudallal, Omar Sarmini et l'Ensemble Al-Kindi
The Aleppian Music Room - The Art of Muwashshah

The traditional school of the Muwashshah, a type of classical arab song expressing joy and creativity with great fluidity, is represented here by Sabri Moudallal, the sprightly eighty year old acknowledged master of the genre; whilst the younger generation is represented by Omar Sarmini, an artist of great sensitivity.

Genuine, as it gathered for the first time two true masters of this art - a stroke of genious in itself - this programme, recreates the luxuriously intimate, highly charged atmosphere of the 19th century Arab music room, with its cushions and sofas, richly coloured rugs and nargilehs.

Under the direction of Julien Jâlâ Eddine Weiss, the two singers indulge in some wonderful vocal interplay, displaying their talents to the best advantage, with instrumental interludes of the musicians of the Al-Kindi Ensemble.

Just as Venice, in the 18th Century, was renowned for its connoisseurs of lyrical art, the city of Aleppo is famous for its formidable knowledgeable music-lovers. It is known that, in the early 20th C. great singers from Cairo, as Oum Khalthoum or Abdelwahab, starting their carreer, were to get the imprimatur of this raffinated and hard to please audience.

Omar Sarmini, Sabri Moudalal and Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss

Musical party in the palace of J.J. Weiss in Aleppo
Settled for the past few years in a 14th C. Mamelouk Palace close to Bab Qenissrin, one of the old city of Aleppo's gate, Julien Weiss perpetuates the tradition of these musical gatherings organizing every month a music room opens to everyone, opportunity for musicians and audiences to commune in a warm, emotional atmosphere (the so-called tarab) in which the listeners' satisfaction and appreciation gush out in spontaneous outbursts : "Allah !" or "Yâ Salâm !".

Formation :
Sabri Moudalal, Omar Sarmini - Singer
Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss - Arabic zither (Qânun), artistic direction
Ziyâd Kâdî Amin - Reed Flute (Ney)
Qadri Dalal Luth - Lute (luth)
Adel Shams el-Din - Percussion (riqq)
Maher Moudalal, Qadri Dalal - Choir (Munshiddin)