Omme Kolosum / Omme Kolsoum / Umm Kulthum

La Diva, Vol. 5

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EMI Arabia's Diva series is a comprehensive examination of the material the great Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum (here spelled Omme Kolsoum) recorded for EMI. La Diva, Vol. 5 has a bit more variety in terms of musical backing than all but Volume 1. There is some level of surface noise present on all tracks, but they never become unlistenable. Musical backing generally consists of oud and violin, with a vocal chorus joining on "Akoun Saeed" and a male vocalist on "Mali Foutintou" (which suffers a bit in the sound-quality department). A larger string ensemble is present on the last three pieces. Kulthum was one of the great voices of the 20th century, and this particular volume would be a fine place to start.

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