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A Review Of

Fairuz Christmas Hymns

by Fairuz

 

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Summary

Fairuz is a Lebanese singer whose beautiful voice and use of Lebanese cultural motifs in her music have captured the hearts of the Lebanese people. Being Christian herself, she has recorded this album of Christmas music. Fairuz Christmas Hymns CD Cover

 

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Fact Sheet

Musical Style Christmas hymns
Instruments Organ
Dance Style Best Suited To... Christian liturgical or Christmas theme
Recommended Dance Skill Level Any
Length of Music 30:51
Number of Songs 10
Packaging Liner notes contain only song titles, no background information

 

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Description

This 1977 album contains Christmas music, mostly Christian hymns, sung in Arabic by Lebanon's legendary vocalist, Fairuz. Some of these melodies are well known in Europe and the U.S., such as "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night".

The musical accompaniment is mostly organ. In some cases, a choir sings sections of the songs. For example, in "Ya Mariyam El Bekr", Fairuz' solo lyrics alternate with a choir.

The music was arranged and the lyrics written by the Rahbani Brothers, Assi (Fairuz' husband) and his brother Mansour. In the case of those songs that come from Europe and the U.S., the Arabic lyrics are not necessarily a translation of the originals into Arabic.

The use of organ music and choir in the arrangements on this album give it a very sacred sound. It could be beautiful for use in a Christmas pageant or liturgical dance.

Some of the songs on this album demand a high level of vocal skill, such as smooth phrasing across wide musical intervals. Fairuz handles these demanding musical techniques with ease, always hitting the pitches exactly right.

 

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Songs Included

 

Song Title

Length

Nationality

Music Clip?

Translation?

Comments

Carillon 1:00 N/A No Not Applicable  
Sawt El Eid 2:40 Germany Yes No Stille Nacht (Silent Night)
Laylet Eid 2:51   Yes No Jingle Bells
Talj Talj 2:21   No No  
Najmet Eid 2:57 France Yes No Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (Angels We Have Heard On High)
Ya Mariyam El Bekr 3:08   Yes No  
Soubhan El Kalima 4:01   No No  
Arsalallah 5:04   No No  
Ya Oum Allah 4:00   No No  
Carillons 2:22   No Not Applicable  

 

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Is It Right for You?

You Will Probably Enjoy This Music If...

  • You appreciate Christian Christmas hymns.
  • You like the idea of bringing a Middle Eastern element (Arabic language and famous Lebanese singer) into Christmas music.
  • You would enjoy hearing familiar Christmas songs done with a new twist, that of being sung in Arabic.
  • You're looking for something suitable for a liturgical dance or performance in a church Christmas pageant.
  • You're looking for music that would serve as beautiful soft background for a Christmas gathering.

This Music Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You are looking for secular music.
  • You're looking for high-energy music that promotes a party atmosphere.
  • You're not interested in music with a Christmas theme.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • Fairuz' beautiful voice has timeless appeal.
  • The album contains an appealing balance between songs familiar to me and songs that are new to me.
  • For songs that I was already familiar with, such as "Silent Night", the Arabic lyrics give them a fresh sound, while the musical arrangement stays faithful to the original melody.

What I Didn't Like:

  • I wished the CD liner notes had been more informative. For example, it would have been nice to have the Arabic lyrics transliterated.

 

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Conclusion

This is one of my favorite albums of Christian Christmas music. Fairuz' voice is expressive, the musical arrangements are beautiful, and the songs contained are appealing.

So many other musicians try to impose their own innovations on traditional Christmas songs by warping the melody lines. Fairuz and the Rahbani Brothers didn't feel the need to do that with this album. They trusted their own musical skills to create music worth listening to, and succeeded admirably.

Because most of the pieces are religious in content and the musical arrangements employ sounds associated with church music (choir and organ music), the album would work best for people who like to keep the "Christ" in "Christmas".

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had contact with any of the musicians involved in making this album.

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To Buy It

Fairuz Christmas Hymns CD Cover

Artist: Fairuz
Album Title: Christmas Hymns

Amazon Store: U.S.

 

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