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20 September 2013

Focal point:
Barbra Streisand, “Children Will Listen”

Children Will Listen

TRACK SIX of Back to Broadway is “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods (1987) by Stephen Sondheim. This is a powerful moralistic song that explores the double-entendres of its title. It's a theme that Barbra Streisand has always favored: “Actions have consequences, even for future generations.” She sings it with an irony that recalls her 1985 recording of "Pretty Women/The Ladies Who Lunch” from The Broadway Album. Like that song, this one is a splendid performance.

06 September 2013

Focal point:
Barbra Streisand, “As If We Never Said Goodbye”

As If We Never Said Goodbye

TRACK FIVE of Back to Broadway is “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard (1993) by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Along with another song from the musical, “With One Look”, “As If We Never Said Goodbye” is Barbra Streisand's most controversial recording to date. Furore ensued (primarily by the msuical's lead star Patti Lupone) when Mr. Webber allowed Ms. Streisand to record and release the song ahead of the show's world premiere in London. Moreover, there was criticism to the inclusion of these two songs in Back to Broadway, since the musical had not yet debuted in Broadway. For all the wrong reasons, I still think Ms. Streisand's version is the most stunning of all recordings made of this song. It's one of her vocal highlights in the 1990s.

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