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    Hari Raya in all its musical splendour
    Published On: 20-May-2022

    A Tribute To S. Atan” concert at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) last Saturday was about nostalgia, emotions and pride, all rolled into one breathtaking show.

    It was my first time back at the hall after a few years and it gave me that familiar, happy feeling of spending my Saturday evenings listening to great music. And judging from the full house, I was not alone in this thought. 

     With reduced risk of Covid19 infection and fewer restrictions, music lovers were back in full force at one of the country’s best concert halls. And then, there were the songs. 

    The show played familiar Hari Raya classics composed by the legendary S. Atan, who turns 73 this year. An award-winning songwriter, music composer and producer, he produced more than 1,500 songs for the who’s who in the local music scene, including Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, the late Tan Sri S.M. Salim, Datuk D.J. Dave, Datuk Jamal Abdillah, the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad, and popular bands like Carefree and Black Dog Bone. 

    Atan has about 60 Hari Raya songs under his belt, which are more than enough to showcase in his tribute concert. With conductor Ahmad Muriz Che Rose at the helm, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) started the show with a heartwarming medley of Selamat Hari Raya, Bila Takbir

    Bergema, Bersabarlah, Sayang and Aidilfitri. I’ve listened to those songs for decades. They were played in malls during Hari Raya shopping sprees, on the car radio when we went visiting from one house to another, and in numerous Hari Raya TV shows. 

    But nothing compares with hearing them played live by an orchestra. It delivers a sense of deep emotion and pride, and beyond the familiarity of these old tunes, the adult in me finally understood the beauty of these compositions.


    The concert featured three singing legends on vocals — Jamal, Azlina Aziz and Jay Jay — who, in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, were at the top of their singing careers. Their voices were still unparalleled and even at over 60 years old, they reminded the crowd of their singing prowess. 

    Jamal started the show with his own popular Hari Raya song, Salam Aidilfitri ,to rapturous applause. It was like Hari Raya Aidilfitri all over again, and after two years of not being able to celebrate the way we did, it was a great feeling indeed. 

    Next up was Jay Jay, who sang Cahaya Aidilfitri and Dari Jauh Ku Pohon Maaf, which were originally sung by Black Dog Bone and the late Sudirman, respectively. 

    \Jay Jay was spot-on when he said that although Hari Raya is associated with family and happiness, some songs may be downright sombre like Cahaya Aidilfitri, which tells the story of an orphan with no family to celebrate with.

    After that, it was Azlina’s turn to sing Hari Mulia, which was popularised by Datuk Sheila Majid. The seasoned singer shined bright with this number, giving a fresh breath to this jazzy song with ease. It was my first time watching a live performance by Azlina, and I was impressed with her vocals and versatility.

    If I closed my eyes and hear her speak, I swear she would sound a lot like her mother, actress Normadiah, in her voice and intonation. Her versatility was further proven as she sang Inang Aidilfitri with Jay Jay, a duet originally sung by Sudirman and Zaleha Hamid. 


    The MPO’s instrumental continued with a medley of Suara Takbir, Aidilfitri Hari Mulia, Pulanglah and Balik Kampung, again bringing the audience to appreciate a dif­ferent level of classic Hari Raya songs. Azlina then sang her own classic, Indahnya Beraya Di Desa, and she sounded even better live

    than on record. She then sang Joget Hari Raya with Jamal (made popular by Herman Tino and Zaleha Hamid) before Jamal delivered Menjelang Hari Raya by DJ Dave. And as a final treat, Jay Jay lent his vocals with Azlina and Jamal to sing Balik Kampung, the classic homecoming song of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

    The show was originally planned for 2020, and even though Covid-19 restrictions pushed it to this year, it was worth the wait as the concert was performed in all its musical splendour. 

    It was a tribute to one of the country’s foremost composers, featuring evergreen songs that played out beautifully even in 2022. It was a Hari Raya musical show at its best, and I feel that two years under restrictions have made the audience appreciate both Hari Raya and an MPO performance even more.

    Posted Under :
    Hari Raya Aidilfitri;
    Source: Pressreader
    Category: OTHERS