Sacred Koran

Sacred Koran: Islamic Chants of the Ottoman Empire

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Fevzi Misir, Ibrahim Canakkaleli, Aziz Bahriyeli and Yusuf Gebzeli--the four Turkish vocalists heard on this 1985 recording--are not professional, full-time recording artists. They are not Turkish pop stars, nor are they artists who earn a living playing traditional Turkish music à la singer/saz virtuoso Talip Ozkan. Rather, they are muezzin, Muslims who sing verses from the Koran. This CD was recorded not in Istanbul or Ankara, but in Paris, which has attracted a lot of Middle Eastern immigrants and has, in recent decades, been home to a lot of Arabic, Turkish, and Iranian/Persian singers and instrumentalists. Misir, Canakkaleli, Bahriyeli, and Gebzeli sing verses from the Koran a cappella, and do so with a lot of passion. Because of its raw, esoteric nature, this recording isn't for those with only a casual interest in Middle Eastern music. But more seasoned listeners will find a lot to admire about The Sacred Koran.

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