Album: Various artists, Hommage à Oum Kalsoum, (Institut du Monde Arabe)

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The Independent Culture

During the Six-Day War, Egypt's prima diva Oum Kalsoum was listened to by troops on both sides of the line.

Here, more than three decades after her death, we get the fruits of two concerts staged in her honour by a new generation of Arabic artists. The three singers are all virtuosi, and the orchestral accompaniment is absolutely echt; we get a vivid impression of what an Oum Kalsoum concert would have been like, with the passion ratcheted up. This music might calm combatants once more.

Pick of the album: 'Gaddedt hobbak leh': 26 heady minutes