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What Matters Most Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan & Marilyn Bergman

4.5 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The incomparable Barbra Streisand"s long-cherished desire to release an album of music with lyrics exclusively written by her collaborators and friends, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, is achieved on What Matters Most- Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

The new album, which Streisand personally produced, is comprised of ten Bergman songs which Streisand has never previously recorded. Included in the set are the Academy Award winning songs "The Windmill of your Mind" (from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair); "So Many Stars" (originally a hit song for Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66); "Nice 'n' Easy" (popularized by Frank Sinatra); and "That Face" (first recorded by Fred Astaire) . The CD is packaged in a jewel box with a 24-page color booklet.

Reflecting on her long-held desire to devote an entire album to the amazingly varied and consistently inspired music of the Bergmans, Streisand noted, "Alan and Marilyn Bergman have a remarkable gift for expressing affairs of the heart."
The affection and respect between lyricists and artist is quite wonderful. "When we write a song, we hear Barbra," said lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. "She makes the connection from the heart to the mind, and it emerges through her voice."
Deluxe edition includes a second CD featuring ten previously released performances of Barbra singing the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman including "The Way We Were", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "Papa Can You Hear Me?" and "Pieces of Dreams".

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Windmills Of Your Mind
  2. Something New In My Life
  3. Solitary Moon
  4. Nice 'n' Easy
  5. Alone In The World
  6. So Many Stars
  7. The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye
  8. That Face
  9. I'll Never Say Goodbye
  10. What Matters Most

Disc: 2

  1. The Way We Were
  2. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
  3. You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbra Streisand duet with Neil Diamond
  4. Papa, Can You Hear Me?
  5. Pieces of Dreams
  6. The Island
  7. The Summer Knows
  8. How Do You Keep The Music Playing?
  9. After The Rain
  10. A Piece Of Sky


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: August 23, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • ASIN: B0058A119G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Barbra Streisand is one of the most successful entertainers of our time. She has won 2 Academy Awards, 8 Grammy Awards, 4 Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute Award and a Peabody Award. Also, she is the best selling female artist on the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) list and the only female in the top 10. Plus has had 31 albums reach Billboard's top ten. She is also the only artist to ever achieve number 1 albums in 5 different decades. Quite impressive, and now she is back with the follow up to 2009's "Love is the Answer." "What Matter's Most" is Streisand's 33rd studio album and she hasn't missed a beat! This two disc set is a collection of songs by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (whom she won Academy Awards with for "Yentl" and "The Way We Were"). Produced by Streisand herself, disc 1 contains Bergman songs she has never before recorded. Disc 2 (on the Deluxe Edition only) is a set of previously recorded songs. Included with a colorful 24 page booklet, Streisand proves yet again she is an extremely talented singer.

"Windmills Of My Mind" (from 1968's "The Thomas Crown Affair") is the opening track and Streisand sounds beautiful, elegant, and as smooth as honey. She hits every note perfectly and shows the dynamic range that made her famous. Another highlight is "Nice n Easy," a song made classic by Frank Sinatra in which she sounds absolutely splendid. Sinatra sang it as a song about falling in love. Streisand's version is a song of seduction; of making love from a woman's point of view. "Alone in the World" is a love song, and this is what she does best. Sounding pure, vibrant yet subtle, the sound is simply amazing. A trumpet solo by Chris Botti adds texture and contributes wonderfully to the sound.
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Shes back and sounds better than ever!! For those who keep saying they enjoyed her earlier style, um get with the times, shes 69 and do you really expect her to still sound that way and do the same thing??
This is her best album in almost ten years and blows Love Is the Answer out of the water. This work really reminds me of A Love Like Ours, but a little more upbeat in a way. This is very jazzy, calming, lush, evoking, sexy. Her voice is in amazing condition and you would never know her age by listening. Sure some notes are bit deeper than they once were, but she still has it and there are high octaves here that soar that were missing from 2009's Love is the Answer. This is sweeping, cinema epic, and you can tell the care and research that went into getting this just right. This album also reminds me a little bit of Christmas Memories in its vocal style. Yes you dont go driving down the road cranking up the base expecting a dance beat album for goodness sakes, this is pure classic Streisand that makes you feel and reflect and wonder. I think I read another review on here that said this album reminds the person again why they are a fan, and that is the best way to sum it up. Congratulations Barbra, you have brought it home and then some! Oh and Windmills On My Mind, was never a fan of that song, but wow she owns it now. It just takes you away. More than ten songs would have been nice, but I see why she did it this way. It keeps it cozy and compact, plus the bonus disc of her older songs is a great combo package with the new.
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I'm not a die-hard Streisand fan. I love lots of what she's done, and actually always like her in her movies. But, her albums for me, well, some I really like and others, mehh, not so much. I have to admit that I have always respected her willingness to change, expand, grow, and try new things. I also know for most of us, we want our artists to stay in exactly the place we found them and fell in love with them; it's a real push-pull.

Lots of her albums, I've given away. I just wasn't in love with them; some of her music has been too over the top for me. But this one? This one is just wonderful. It's a testament to her gift and her vision. She loves these songs and it shows in each track. I love the sublime tempos, the quality and depth of her voice, the arrangements, and the Bergmans are exceptionally complex writers that make their songs worth repeated hearings. All of it comes together to make a collection worth owning. And, for those who may like her earlier works more, it does remind me of the velvet tones she is obviously able to still produce.

The world is so hectic and harsh these days...what a gift to have something that you can wrap yourself in like your favorite blanket.

Thank you for this collection. It is silky, soft, satisfying, sultry, and superb.
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OK.. After reading how this is either the best album ever recorded by Barbra Streisand - or it's the worst.. I figure it's time I toss my 2 cents into the ring as well.

Without question, the girl can still sing. Those who say "time for Barbra to give it up" are wrong. Her voice is still impressive - as is her interpretive style. Streisand remains an incredible talent. There are many fine performances on this CD - some are truly outstanding. But, I also have to agree that the CD becomes... well... boring. I find this disturbing, too. What with the great vocals on this CD, why should it be boring? I don't believe it's because all the songs are ballads (even the uptempo songs are "slow") - case in point? Ella Fitzgerald's "Take Love Easy" album (also recorded late in her career - as is this one, for Barbra). Ella's album is 10 ballads in a row - but never boring. I think that's partly because it's done simply: voice & guitar. That simple. You get drawn into what Ella's doing - and you can hear the fun she's having, singing - even ballads, she's having fun.

With Streisand's new CD, we've got some extraordinary tracks. "Windmills of Your Mind" is stunning. "What Matters Most" is heartbreaking, really - the song, the vocal, the words... truly beautiful. BUT... there are other songs that I feel Streisand was sabotaged... and sabotaged by the string arrangements. "Alone in the World" for instance... What an amazing song, and what a terrific vocal Streisand gives us. But, then... here come the strings. Once you happen to focus on the strings playing, you hear them every step of the way... They never shut up - cluttering the background with so many unnecessary flourishes, you just want to make them stop!
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