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4.2 out of 5 stars
Classical Barbra
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2000
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
You'll never find a more peaceful collection. It's almost like listening to the waves crashing ashore (in slow motion). Barbra hasn't the range of a classical diva nor does she attempt to go places she knows she cannot. But rather offers an hour of morning meditation, some afternoon calm or an evening prayer of thanks. This is one of those Cd's I've passed on to many friends, with much appreciation. "Higher Ground" would have been an appropriate title for this LP when it was released. Nothing so beautiful as when the earthly and the ethereal slow dance deep into the night. That's where this Cd takes you. Enjoy. ps: thanks Barbra for the endless pleasure of your voice
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2003
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Proving that she really can pull off anything she sets her mind to, Barbra recorded this amazing collection of traditional, lieder classical music. Streisand's instincts are seldom off, and this incredible intuition follows her into the classical realm. Even in the context of this very difficult style of singing, Streisand's performance never seems anything less than completely natural. In fact, Barbra's elegant rendition of Carl Orff's "In Trutina" is one of the most beautiful vocal performances I've ever heard. Throughout the ten track album, Streisand sings in five different languages and seems completely at home in all of them. Most amazingly, she is somehow able to meet the demands of the compositions without completely surrendering her own unique attributes. This hybrid is at it's most spectacular on Hugo Wolf's "Verschwiegene Liebe" and George Frideric Handel's "Lascia ch'io pianga," in which the combination composition and performer create an almost surreal beauty that echoed throughout the entire project. Melodic and surprising, CLASSICAL BARBRA showcases yet another side to the indescribable talent known as Barbra Streisand.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I can't say that Ms. Streisand is "the minx" when it comes to classical training but she has a natural and hardworking gift. She possesses a faultless dedication to her craft that I can truly appreciate. This CD is not a new release, (I have it on wax) but this fantasy-like music lulled my three-year old to afternoon naps for two years and I am classically grateful.

In this CD, it is her amazing vocal control and most especially, her need not to BOMBAST the listener with musical ploys that is to be commended. She has selected classic pieces and a variety of composers to lull us to another place. Some of her selections work better than others, but her musical choices are always amazing. well done and musically subtle.

If you have a little child that needs soothing or if you need quiet, calming music sung from a very carefully studied songbook, you will enjoy this timeless musical massage.

As someone who was trained as a classical singer, I was familiar with all of Ms. Striesand's choices. Although no Price or Sills, she still pulls it off with style through thoughtful phrasing and vocal reserve. My favorites are Après un rêve, Op. 7/1 by Faure and In Trutina, from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Finally, whatever she lacked in classical training, she more than made up for in interpretation and complete understanding of the text. So lovely. Brava!

I must Ms. Streisand credit...she took on something she had no experience doing and made it work in her special way. She is no small egoist and a perfectionist, and publicly not endearing or warm to many of us. However, she has that true storyteller's talent and understands, even in Latin, how to tell her story.

P.S. Not for impervious classicists, dotty tradionalists, or peevish intractables!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
My grandparents who are both opera singers and voice teachers listened to 'Classical Barbra'. Their assessment is : the CD is not a great revelation of a promising opera or lieder singer. But she shows that she can tackle an art song and show off an important attribute of fine singing : legato. Barbra's vocal technique and hearing capability in music makes her the greatest pop singer of all times. Personally, the CD is a soothing work of the pop diva. I'll never get tired of this CD which has Streisand's unique treatment of art songs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In 1963, when Streisand released her first album, there was no doubt she was a unique and talented singer. Some ten years later, after becoming a great success, she proved with "Classical Barbra" what a nurtured and developed talent is capable of. She didn't sit on her laurels and continue to churn out Broadway warhorses in an attempt to play it safe. Instead, like a true artist, she challenged her abilities. Her reward, and ours as well, is this absolutely gorgeous CD. Her voice, at a level of near perfection, glides effortlessly across each tender note of these well picked gems. If anyone ever doubted man's reason for existence, please, do yourself a favor and buy this CD. You will be inspired for a lifetime.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
With her god-given voice, it is such a joy to hear it used for purer sounds! It is often wasted on mundane material, but here the beauty of her voice meets its match: in haunting classical songs sung in Italian, French, German, etc. Anybody who finds her raspy and diva-esque will be surprised by her restrained, sensitive delivery here. Barbra at her best...The Voice Of The Twentiest Century indeed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Reading some of the recent reviews about remastering issues, I don't think they got this new 2013 version, even if they did the Auto-Rip, which I think pulled the 1987 issue without the bonus tracks. I ordered the CD which came today and played it in my car. In comparison to the 1987 release, which was not remastered properly (with hiss and low volume), this new version is pristine and includes two bonus tracks not issued when recorded. I also did not know this album was started in 1973. I thought it was done in the moment for the February 1976 release.

Great care was taken with the remaster to bring all the music to an almost-live level of sound. There is great separation of instruments. Strings literally sing along with Barbra's voice. This was one of the only classical recordings I owned, though as I grew older, added some of the composers to my collection and the great classical crossover artists of recent years (Sarah Brightman, Katherine Jenkins, Mario Frangoulis, etc). I also learned for audition pieces back in the day and trained with my vocal coach using Barbra's version of Beau Soir, which is the only lyric in French I can do without error. Otherwise, it is Oui, Merci and croissant.

This album was a total surprise to me being re-released. Kudos to all involved for really making it a superb edition and shining it all up with the remastering. "I Love You" is currently playing and it never sounded this good. A "MUST" for all Barbra fans.

Great album for quiet times, candlelight, and/or brunch!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This CD shows why Streisand is who she is; the ultimate DIVA! This lady can sing anything and on this wonderful collection she proves it. Barbra recored the album way back in 1973, and because the record label was afraid of low sales due to the classical nature of the material, didn't release it until 1976. What a treat for fans of Barbra and fans of classical music. Barbra showcases hew vocal strengths in the 10 tracks singing in different languages. I first heard this CD at a dinner party 15 years ago and pretty much forgot about it until I saw a few for sale on Ebay. I remembered loving it and immediately bought it through Amazon. I highly recommend this CD for all those people who simply love music. It will put you in a very relaxed mood, almost as if your home is filled with candles. Since I bought it I've listened to it at least 20 times or more and will continue playing it in my home. Don't worry if you can't understand what Barbra is saying if you don't comprehend the laguage of the song; you'll know it's still Barbra doing what she does the best. A few final notes ; Barbra Streisand was nominated for a Grammy for the album. And Streisand has personally stated that this was the hardest album vocally she has ever worked on in her career. In short a beautiful CD for any home.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Classical purists are almost invariably sniffy about this album. And even people who don't know the first thing about the music tend to seize the opportunity to see it as an example of the diva's ego and pretension. But here's the thing: just about every time I play this album in the company of others someone will be captivated unawares by its sheer beauty. "This is wonderful - who is it?" they'll say. And when you tell them it's Streisand their reaction is utter disbelief, often followed by annoyance. "It can't be - I don't like her!" is what they really want to say. Which just goes to show how prejudice so often gets in the way of enjoyment. So don't be a musical snob - allow yourself the pleasure of this exquisite work. My only complaint is that Streisand still hasn't worked up the nerve to do Volume 2.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
In short, this is a beautiful piece of artistic integrity and interpretation. Although classical pundits might snub the work because its vocalist is known primarily for her popular music, what such vapid haughtiness fails to appreciate is that music is a transaction between composer and singer. As a performing arts major in college, what I take for granted that others may not realize is that upon receiving input and feedack from either a director or conductor, a sensitive rendering of either a play's character or piece of music is best left up to the TALENT of the performer! Otherwise, rather than receiving a holistic portrayal, an audience is liable to witness imitation rather than artistic interpretation. Withal, although many can be "classically trained," only a few have a genuine gift.
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