Sunday, February 8, 2009

CD Review: A Dr. of Violin - Riad Abdel-Gawad

Riad Abdel-Gawad
El Tarab El Aseel (Autochthonic Enchantment)

Born in Egypt and educated with a doctorate in music from Harvard, Riad Abdel-Gawad knows his way around Arabic compositions. Riad performs traditional Arabic music using different classical modes of performance. The classical elements are also closeyl associated with compositions outside of the Middle East region. Riad's violin playing is precise and steeped in tradition. Yet, the violin is also joined with the oud, riqq, qanun, and ney flute. Anyone with a knowledge of traditional Arabic music and classical compositions will listen to Riad with a different 'ear' than the casual aficionado of Middle Eastern music. Nevertheless, it's an amazing instrumental collection of four very long compositions that do not require a doctorate in order to appreciate it. A classic release! ~ Matthew Forss

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