Filfel Gourgy - The World is Happy / Le Monde est Heureux
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Filfel Gourgy
The World is Happy / Le Monde est Heureux (Magda Records, Israel)

Filfel Gourgy was born at the beginning of the 1930s in Baghdad, Iraq, and died in 1983 in the courtyard of his home in Israel. In the course of his life he managed to leave his imprint on Iraqi music, proving beyond all doubt that he was one of the great standard bearers of the modern revolution which took place in the field.

Listen:
Al dunia farhana
maqam 'Madmi'

The record label says:
Filfel Gourgy was born at the beginning of the 1930s in Baghdad, Iraq, and Filfel Gourgy was born at the beginning of the 1930s in Baghdad, Iraq, and died in 1983 in the courtyard of his home in Israel. In the course of his life he managed to leave his imprint on Iraqi music, proving beyond all doubt that he was one of the great standard bearers of the modern revolution which took place in the field. He was born in Baghdad in ?Suq al-Hanoon? to a prosperous family of merchants. While still a child, he became known among those close to him as possessing a rare poetic ability and the voice of an angel. As a youngster, he was taken in hand by Hassan Habka, a Muslim Iraqi singer. His classical and musical Muslim education bestowed on him the privilege of reading the Koran to millions of Arab viewers, on the eve of Ramadan, on Israel Television. On 1950, due to the undermining of the harmonious relations which had existed between Jews and Muslims in Iraq and the ?Farhood pogroms?, Gourgy was no longer able to conceal his Jewish identity, hitherto kept secret. He was smuggled into Iran in the dead of night. Thus manifestations of hostility effectively cut short the young musician?s career in Iraq. After spending some six months in Iran, he immigrated to Israel. In no time at all he became famous, gaining a following among Jews from Iraq. His name also became known among the Muslims in Iraq and Jordan who listened to the Voice of Israel in Arabic.

Filfel Gourgy wrote the words and composed the melody for most of his songs, the majority of them universal songs, in both literary and spoken Arabic, even updating ancient folk songs.

Without a doubt, Filfel Gourgy occupies a place in the pantheon of Arab song and music, as an outstanding artist: his exceptional vocal talent and musical achievements assure him of an undisputed position among the greats. To this day, Filfel Gourgy is considered as one of the inheritors of the Arab classical singers such as Farid el Atrash, Umm Kulthum and Muhammad Abed el Waheb.

This is the first time that a collection of his songs has been issued by a reputable commercial company. We have been forced to make a more or less random choice of just nine out of the hundreds of his best works. It is our hope that this album will find an appreciative ear among many music lovers throughout the world, and will break down the political borders, perhaps acting as a milestone in the mending of the musical deficiency which has been created.

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