Thursday, October 19, 2006

‘’Between yesterday and tomorrow’’:
Marc Fruttero’s unofficial site on BARBRA STREISAND.

It was 1979 when I first had the chance to listen to a fantastic duet by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand:’’No More Tears(Enough is Enough)’’.I already admired Donna Summer and I had some of her songs and albums.I didn’t like exactly all of her songs.Some were too easy,but the songs that were not so commercial were really fantastic!Her voice was really wonderful!That Disco duet was a chance to point my attention to another amazing voice:Barbra Streisand.
I already knew Barbra…of course.She was extremally famous but,since then,my attention was fully absorbed by Disco songs:The Bee Gees,Giorgio Moroder,Donna Summr etc.So I didn’t follow Easy listening music or Jazz so much.When I heard Donna’s duet with Barbra,I bought the 45,I listened to both of the songs contained on that record so many times…The B side contained’’Wet’’an enchanting slow song;one of the most pleasent tunes she sang.Since then i started buying all Barbra’s album,one after another…I can say it was the right moment to start because the most beautiful albums she recorded started from the end of the 70s.In 1980 I bought’’Guilty’’.I said to some aquaintances that that album was a’’jewel case of melodies’’.In fact,you could admire the genius of the Bee Gees:Barry Gibb who wrote the song with his brothers,sung by the incredible vocal performance of Barbra:Her unique voice so delicate and powerful at the same time!She was really unforgettable!That album contained some of her most beautiful songs:’’What Kind of Fool’’,’’Guilty’’,’’Run Wild’’and’’Woman in Love’’which is maybe her famoust hit.She never sings that tune during her live concerts,but it’s certainly the song which even people that doesn’t know her repertoire so much know her as a famous singer.
There are only a few female vocalists that you can compare to Barbra such as Whitney Houston,Dionne Warwick,Shirley Bassey,Donna Summer… and Barbra really has something special too,we can distinguish her among thousands of voices.Not just as a very famous singer that had a lot of commercial success,but a really talented artist….Absolutly one of the greatest!She’s also a great actress,but in this site I would like to point my attention to her performances as a singer and …composer.Yes.Because she also wrote a few songs.Not just the famous’’Evergreen’’but also compositions like’’Here We Are at Last’’.This present song,very soft melody,was part of one of her nicest albums:’’Emotions’’(1984).It’s one of the most interesting records of the 80s.It also contained’’Hearts Don’t Change my Mind‘’,an unforgettable track and fantastic melody!As ‘’Here We Are at Last’’, ’’Hearts Don’t Change my Mind‘’is not one of Barbra’s most famous songs(at least inEurope)but a real special one!I can not forget it and it would be very pleasent for me,as a singer too, to sing that song one day! ..along with others from her repertoire.
Even her following album’’Till I Loved You‘’(1988) was amazing!In that production she sang an unforgettable track written by Burt Bacharach:’’One More Time Around‘’.I was astonished by the incredible musicality of that song performed by the magical voice of Barbra.Even the title duet by Barbra and Don Johnson was really romantic:In fact ’’Till I Loved You‘’was also a chance to know Johnson as a singer and not just as an actor.
Making duets was always a special moment in Barbra’s career.All the duets she sang were really magic!Not just the ones with Barry Gibb but also the others she sang with various stars.There were quite a lot of them.So it’s probably the reason why she decided to put together some of them to publish her 2002 collection’’Duets’’.It contains’’You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’’one of the most romantic compositions she sang,with the fantastic Neil Diamond,and the jazz duet’’I’ve Got a Crush On You‘’with’’The voice’’Frank Sinatra.We have not to forget her famous’’Tell him’’with Celine Dion,but the most astonished moment of that collection is the magic of the magics:’’I Won’t The One to Let Go’’her fabulous new duet with ‘’The voice two’’Barry Manilow.The exceptional musicality of Manilow’s voice meets the powerful vocality by Barbra Streisand!It’s certanly one of the highest moments of Barbra’s performances
Just two years ago I met a girl from Los Angeles.We were sitting in a bar in Genoa,Italy,talking about music and we said Barbra and Barry Manilow have never made a duet together.We didn’t have to wait for a long time!That magical occasion finally came and now we can enjoy a duet between the two most popular voices of American Easy listening.
Going back to her duets collection I can say that magic moment is repeated during her final duet with Josh Groban’’All I Know of Love‘’which closes this masterpiece collection.It’s an’’Andrea Bocelli style’’composition:He sings in Italian and English,while Barbra sings in English.Together,they play a very fluent melody for an original happy ending!She could’t get a better conclusion for that album!I personally hope Barbra will delight our ears with some more duets with any other exceptional voices like All Jarrau,Whitney Houston,Elton John,Dionne Warwick or Dina Carrol to name a few….
Her previous collection’’The essential Barbra Streisand’’(2002)is just as interesting as’’Duets’’.It recollects an entire career of amazing performances,starting from her poetic songs of the 60s like the delicate’’A Sleeping Bee’’,to the 70s with a very original’’Lazy Afternoon’’and the famous’’Memory’’that everybody knows.It ends with her 90s renovated interests for Broadway;The deeply romantic’’Send In The Clowns’’or’’Somewhere’’from ‘’West Side Story’’by Bernstein.Again a very happy conclusion with a new song called’’You’ll Never Walk Alone‘’:Again another one of her best moments.
I suppose I should say something about her latest production.During these recent years her voice became perhaps a little less powerful but it gained more in delicacy and expression!When you hear her songs of the 60s and 70s you can remain astonished by the amazing acrobaticity,freshness and volume of her voice.The perfect tecnique and the facility with whom she sings.
When we listen to her recent CDs,we can notice she’s becoming even more sensitive and her interpretations become even deeper than before.Her voice is now more full of frequencies and even better to sing slow songs with a great orchestral accompaniment (that the kind of music she often sings needs!).I will never forget her wonderful interpretation in’’The Music That Makes Me Dance’’from her 1999 album’’A Love Like Ours’’(again with an amazing volume!) or’’Alinu malkeinu’’from’’Higher ground‘’(1997) where she sings with a large orchestra and a mystic chorus in the background.Even her orchestral triumph in’’Yentel’’(1983),soundtrack from the movie where she tries tothe microphone with the power of her voice!It is difficul to forget the marvellous’’Papa can you hear me?’’…
To follow Barbra’s career,buying the albums is not enough…In fact her singles sometimes contain songs that you can not find in her albums:It’s possible to discover pearls like’’Just Because’’(1999)that reveals a sweetness and delicacy that is difficult to find in any other singer.
We,Europeans, sometimes laugh at the Americans for some habits we suppose are strange for us.Making a’’Christmas album’’is something that is considered to be a little bit funny.I have never heard of any famous Italian singer that has ever made a Pop Christmas album.Can you imagine European singers like Phil Collins,Elton John,Sting,Bryan Kennedy or even Garry Barlow making a Christmas album? Some European singers sang Christmas songs (The Wham),but an entire album?…That habit is something that is normally done in the States.Many famous American singers have made a Christmas album.Barbra made two of them with a great result!A friend of mine bought her’’Christmas Memories’’(2001).He told me that he considered it boring…To tell the truth I don’t understand people that buy CDs without listening to them before buying them,but I really have a different opinion about that album!I think’’Christmas memories’’is one of her best realizations!It’s similar to’’A Love like Ours’’,which is very orchestral too,following her best tradition of refined orchestral slow song:The best system to understand if a singer is really able to interpretate the deepest kind of Light music!…but for some people it can be a boring style,expecially for those people that listen to pure rock,techno or house music.
It’s too difficult for them,but not for me!…
And now i need to say something about her live concerts!To tell you the truth,even though she had a very long career with an amazing collections of Platinum and Gold albums (as a real genius deserves),she didn’t have so many live concerts…If you have ever seen at least one of her live concerts you can understand how professional she is on stage.She’s not just a perfect studio product but a real show girl…or show Lady now.She’s able to perfectly perform her songs not only with her magical voice(which is impossible to hear any little mistake)but also with the feeling she’s able to shows when moves on stage.It’s easy for her because we must not forget she is a great actress too!When we listen to her concerts we can notice there’s a song that she always performs:’’People’’.That song is again one of her greatest hits.A real classic.She surely loves that song in a special way.I love that 60s hit and the lyrics also:<…people that need people are the luckiest people in the world…>says it’s refrain.What do you think about it?There’s something extremaly deep in those words!
Talking about all Barbra’s song would fill rivers with words…Anyway I hope my modest site about Barbra Streisand will be a little more drop to honour one of the greatest singers in the universe of Pop music.

2003- Marc Fruttero

Some of Barbra Streisand’s hits sung by Marc Fruttero at:

(“The way we were”, “You don’t bring me flowers”, “Woman in love”,
free mp3 downloading)