Funny Girl The Way We Were
The Mirror Has Two Faces
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
The Eyes of Laura Mars
A Star Is Born
The Prince of Tides
This is a welcome all-instrumental tribute to Barbra as multi-talented singer,
actress, screenwriter, director and composer.
The most extended and impressive track is the final Yentl Suite for
Harp and orchestra from music by Michel Legrand, Marilyn Berman and Alan
Berman. It features Le Grand Orchestre Symphoniqe conducted by Legrand and
the luminous playing of talented harpist Catherine Michel. The Suite is sweetly
and nostalgically meditative, romantic and passionate, and wildly exuberant.
It even climaxes with a very Ravelian Bolero. Harp and orchestra are nicely
balanced and the arrangements and orchestrations scintillate.
I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the opening medley from Funny
Girl played by the Orchestra of the Americas which make the material
sound oddly flat-footed. This music deserves much more zing than this. The
City of Prague Philharmonic fare better in their six contributions: The
Way We Were (Marvin Hamlish's well-loved melody and celebrated in suitably
warm sentimental style); The Mirror Has Two Faces (another
winning colourful and atmospheric score with some dramatic dissonances by
Marvin Hamlisch); On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (again
a warmly romantic approach); James Newton Howard's lovely music for The
Prince of Tides (same comment although the OST album has the edge);
A Star is Born (the lovely Evergreen melody) and The Eyes of
Laura Mars (in contrast this is a more gritty dramatic score for this
thriller). What was Babs's connection with this film? She sang the Main Title
Finally I would praise the contribution by John Beale - his arrangement and
production of the end credits music for Nuts - a brief but atmospheric
and emotionally charged work for piano and orchestra.
and another view from Helen San
It's been said, "You either love Barbra Streisand or you don't." The same
can probably be said of Evergreen, Sonic Images' latest release of the best
selections from her movies. The compilation enjoys a strong, emotionally
cohesive theme, brewing with the same lofty, romantic-dramatic yearnings
and awakenings as Streisand's characters and stories. In a manner of speaking,
this is very much a "chick flick" collection, one for eternal romantics and
sensitive aspirants. From the first track, "Funny Girl" to the last, "Yentl,"
the album dances to sweeping, orchestral rhapsodies for the heart. And despite
the fact that the album revolves around the diva, all tracks are completely
instrumental, with no vocals whatsoever.
Each track is a superb selection of each score. Melodic, thematic, rich,
these excerpts only leave you wanting more. Of course, the cultural icons,
"The Way We Were," and A Star is Born's "Evergreen," connect immediately.
But it is the other cues that make this album a prize. The Funny Girl "Medley"
is an especially spirited track with a broader range. John Beal's artful
performance of Nuts is one of the more subtle and quietly seductive cues
on the album. The best track is possibly "Prisoner" from The Eyes of Laura
Mars , a luminous saxophone theme that flawlessly textured with sensational
strings. And Yentl score fans hit the jackpot with the comprehensive
orchestral score suite that is not available on the Yentl soundtrack.
The performances, mainly by The City of Prague Philharmonic, are elegant.
However, though the orchestral sound is good enough, but it feels somewhat
simple, as if the orchestra could have been larger or fuller. Certainly,
fans of these scores should get the complete versions if possible. Until
then, this is a terrific sampler of some very excellent scores.
We are grateful to Helen San (www.cinemusic.net) for giving us permission
to include this review which is currently appearing on her Film Music site.