Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Arabian Masters: Cleopatra

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Abdel Wahab and Umm Kulthum, king and queen of 20th-century Egyptian music, also epitomized opposing approaches. While Kulthum was traditionalist to the core, Abdel Wahab believed in learning from Western music. Yet he too (as this mid-period recording shows) was nothing if not a musical nationalist, using new ideas and practices to refresh rather than to dilute ancient tradition.

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