Boston Globe Review of a Recent Performance with Lebanese Oud Master Marcel Khalifé

By Rebecca Ostriker Marcel Khalifé had just finished his first song at Berklee Performance Center Saturday night when the aisles filled with late-coming fans. Khalifé, a celebrated oud master, singer, and composer, watched as ticket-holders roamed through the hall, groping in the dark to find and fill their seats. It went on and on, and Khalifé waited: dressed in black, elegant silver hair framed by a turquoise scarf, the picture of patience... ....Often the music’s mood offered a striking contrast to the words. For “The Violins,” a song of al-Andalus, or medieval Muslim Spain, Omar Guey’s rollicking, Gypsy-flavored violin and Julien Labro’s lively accordion set the pace for a clapping, singing crowd. It sounded like a party, but Darwish’s words were an elegy for a lost homeland: “The violins weep with the Gypsies heading for al-Andalus/ The violins cry over the Arabs departing al-Andalus.” Read the full review here
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