Mansour Rahbani (منصور الرحباني ), (1925 – January 13, 2009) was a composer, musician, poet, and producer, known as one of the Rahbani brothers.
He received his first musical education on the hands of Father Paul el Achkar, following which he studied Eastern music, musical scores, melodies, Harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and musical analysis. Rahbani was also thoroughly acquainted with rare and valuable references such as the Kamel el Khalay book, the compositions of Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi, and the Shehabiya research in Arab musical melodies. Rahbani studied for nine years under the guidance of Bertrand Robillard, who is considered to be the main catalyst which allowed the young Rahbani’s talent to shine through. In the words of composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Mansour’s musical gift changed the fate of Eastern music and song.
During his musical education he collaborated with his brother Assi in creating the Rahbani brothers.They took their new artistic direction to the Lebanese Radio in 1945. The delivery of a ‘Rahbanian’ song was not an easy task; however, it had faced up to the strong current of the traditional song and heritage, which dominated the entirety of the Eastern World since the beginning of the twentieth century, through Salma Hegazi and Abdou El-Hamoli.
The two brothers went on to join the ranks of the Near East Radio, where they composed many artistic works as well as a series of sketches entitled “Sabeh and Makhoul”. When Assi married Nouhad Haddad (also known as Fairuz) in 1955, the two brothers formed a new Rahbani trio with her. They composed poems and songs, which Fairuz would sing with great prowess. The music of the Rahbani Brothers was inspired by the Arab, Islamic, Maronite and Byzantine musical traditions, in addition to Lebanese folklore, and they are deeply acquainted with western classical music.
Mansour wrote four Diwans in his life as a poet:
- Al-Quṣur Al-Mai'yyah, القصور المائية (The aquatic Castles)
- Osafer Waḥde Malekan, أسافر وحدي ملكاً (Traveling alone as a king)
- Ana Al-Ġareeb Al-Aḫar, أنا الغريب الأخر (I am the other stranger)
- Baḥar Al-shete, بحار الشتي (The winter's sailor)
Rahbani was admitted to the "Hôtel-Dieu de France" hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, following a severe case of pneumonia. He spent three days in intensive care after which he died on January 13, 2009, at the age of 83
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