OPENING THE album Back to Broadway is “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. Written in 1949 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the song is the biggest-selling show hit from the legendary songwriting duo. Its catchy melody is in fact quite difficult to sing: there are half notes in between, and it ends with a high note that “soars” away, true to the lyrics “fly to his side” and “never let him go”. Barbra Streisand navigates the song effortlessly, and her voice is supple. Johnny Mandel brings his usual brand of elegance into the string-laden orchestration. The performance is an exquisite way to open the album.
I imagined this song with Barbra Streisand as the nurse Nellie Forbush falling in love with the businessman Emile de Becque in this wartime tale. I set them both on a simple background of a palm tree and glimpse of an ocean, which is quite “South Pacific” to me!
Listen to the track: