Review: Evergreen: Music from the Films of Barbara Streisand
4 / 5 Stars
First off is a charming medley from Funny Girl, including the ever-famous song "People". Performed in 1992 by the Orchestra of the Americas under the baton of Paul Freeman, this medley has enough melody and vibrancy to give the listener an overview of the entire song repertoire from Funny Girl in just over six minutes. Following that is The Way We Were, another classic song that almost everyone would recognize. The main titles from The Mirror Has Two Faces and The Prince of Tides as well as the end titles from Nuts are on the disc as well. The latter is performed by John Beal and the London Symphonic Assembly. Once again, Beal's arrangement and performance is top-notch, and it's rather disappointing that he didn't do more for this album.
Other orchestral renditions include music from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, A Star Is Born, The Eyes of Laura Mars, and Yentl. All of which are performed wonderfully by the City of Prague Philharmonic, with the exception of the latter which was performed by Le Grand Ochestre Symphonique conducted Michel Legrand. As such, it is probably one of the more accurate film suites on the album, since the Legrand also wrote the score to the film. Performed as a Suite for Harp and Orchestra, the harp work by soloist Catherine Michel is quite exquisite.
This album was a pleasant surprise for someone who wasn't too familiar with Streisand's films. With music by notable composers such as Marvin Hamlisch, James Newton Howard, Michel Legrand, and of course, Barbara Streisand, there was plenty of talent going into these works. The CD is one that I would suggest listening to while relaxing in a hammock sipping lemonade. At least, that's the feeling it evoked in me (most notably during portions of the Yentl suite). I hope it evokes those feelings in you too.
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