Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Barbra StreisandAnd Other Musical Instruments|
Actors: Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Martin Erlichman
Director: Dwight Hemion
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
A mulitcultural musical potpourri, Barbra's fifth television spectacular is her most adventurous. Performing a startling array of new songs and classic hits, with genre-bending arrangements, Barbra Streisand...and Other Mu... more »
Wait - PLEASE get the actual DVD of the televised performanc
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 12/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't heard the recording without seeing the special so I can't review the sound quality of this recording nor have I been able to hear it without seeing the FULL performance, now available on DVD (get it while you can -that's be my advice!).
It was part of a boxed DVD collection of Streisand's television specials and I came away from that viewing believing that seeing the whole production, from start to finish, is the best way to truly appreciate the music. Even the best CD or recording couldn't do justice to that multisensory experience - the lights, the colors, the state of the art effects.
It was so far ahead of its time, especially towards the end when Barbra did a song, accompanied by such "instruments" as blenders whirring, washing machines spinning away, coffee pots percolating...etc. My children watched that part of the DVD and then begged to see the rest.
Perhaps she can inspire a whole new set of budding singers and/or artists to take a chance and share THEIR own unique vision into the world. Kudos to Streisand for making that special. I can only imagine the formidable task it must have been, something you'll understand if you see the various instruments and combinations of musical styles showcased here.
It was a brave and daring performance and showed viewers how rhythm, sound and music is all around us and can be used creatively to "make your own kind of music". I was inspired by it, and wow(!)did I EVER need inspiration and solace at that moment in time...having lost some good friends to death and illness recently.
Anyway, getting back to the DVD..it is my favorite of the DVDs in that collection and, to my way of thinking, reason enough to buy the collection (although seeing her magical performance in Central Park, when the heavens, threatening rain, truly did seem to cooperate with her that night, even adding special touches to some of her songs, is a lovely DVD as well, concluding with a close-up of Streisand singing Silent Night and then panning out to show the entire mass of people as she sang Happy Days are Here Again).
Anyway, to give this recording a fair shot, don't miss the DVD of the filmed special. It is a rare and beautiful performance, showing that Streisand was capable of great creativity, daring and artistry. She was so popular that she could have coasted along, singing the same songs her fans loved, using her lovely voice, content not to push the envelope too much.
But she did not. She grew, changed, evolved and fought her own demons along the way. She believed in herself - or she seemed to.
Her beauty was unique,radiating primarily from her eyes, forcing viewers to ignore the off-kilter parts of her face and to appreciate how a unique look can be gorgeous and far more interesting than cookie cutter beauty.
You can imagine, however, that it couldn't have been easy to wow the critics, with so many more "acceptable" performaners, ones less brash, less daring, less willing to fight for the best performance and settings available. I'm sure a fair number of directors and conductors must have been driven to distraction by her insistence on quality, perhaps wishing to take an easier way out, perhaps feeling that "good enough" was sufficient.
But by sheer force of will, Streisand showed that spectacular could be simply starting point and that experimentation was worth the risk of failure. As a result, she started her career heading in one direction and veered off the path as time went on, some experiments working better than others...in my opinion.
It is particularly timely that this DVD came out when the movie "Ray" was released relatively recently, since a highight of the performance was a medley of songs sung by Ray Charles and Streisand, a delightful combination, showcasing Streisand's versatility.
THIS performance is simply...phenomenal..but not one that may be fully appreciated by listening to the music alone. Indulge your senses and don't miss this experience to see this in its full glory!"
Ahead of it's time
Robert Johnson | Richmond, KY USA | 12/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The soundtrack to the poorly-received television special of the same name, AND OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS is the case of a program that was significantly ahead of it's time. The idea of performing songs (both old and new) with arrangements that incorporate instruments from around the world is a terrific idea, and the whole concept is (for the most part) entertaining and cleverly executed. Although this soundtrack version loses a point for omitting some great songs and leaving behind the impressive visual accompaniment, the sheer excitement and virtuosity of the inventive show still comes through in abundance. Tying it all together is the most amazing instrument of them all - Barbra's indescribably beautiful voice, which soars above even the most towering and complex arrangements, while always finding the emotional core to each song.
The first Act of the special is represented almost in complete entirety, as Streisand uses the Gershwins' immortal "I Got Rhythm" as the framework of a 14-minute medley that takes listeners on a musical tour of the world. Backed by an array of East Indian instruments, Barbra delivers marvelously sensual performances of "Johnny One Note" and "One Note Samba," capping things off with just the right amount of humor. She then performs an achingly beautiful rendition of Rogers and Hart's "Glad To Be Unhappy," which is given a gorgeous Japanese arrangement. Streisand's signature numbers like "People," "Second Hand Rose," and "Don't Rain On My Parade" are performed to the accompaniment of Turkish-Armenian, Spanish, Native American, African, and Irish instruments, which brings fresh interpretations to such well-loved songs. To top it off, Streisand ends the medley with a phenomena 23-second note that broke the previous record for the longest sustained note set by Ima Sumac.
Some classical music enthusiasts were outraged when Streisand performed Schubert's masterpiece "Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen" in a highly campy manner, however, Streisand's tongue-in-cheek take on the classic piece is all in good fun. The closing, choral rendition of Richard Rodgers' "The Sweetest Sounds" is absolutely heavenly, and Barbra's restrained performance of this standard is overflowing with the hushed intensity that has always been one of the most beautiful aspects of her incomparable singing voice. Best of all, however, is the absolutely gorgeous version of "I Never Has Seen Snow," one of Harold Arlen's most underrated compositions. Streisand is arguably the best interpreter of Arlen's work, and her performance here is absolutely spin-tingling. In fact, the whole album is worth buying for "I Never Has Seen Snow" alone.
On a lessor note, the sound effect-laden performances of "By Myself" and "Come Back To Me" don't pack the same punch when taken out the context of the special, and the "household appliance" number, "The World is a Concerto" (which probably sounded hilarious on paper), is too gimmicky to succeed as intended. Even more unfortunate is the fact that some really fantastic numbers that were performed on the special did not make the final cut for the soundtrack. The entire segment with guest star Ray Charles is missing (although the stirring duet "Cryin' Time" was finally issued on the 1991 box set JUST FOR THE RECORD and the 2002 compilation DUETS), which many critics felt was the show's true moment of greatness. Barbra also delivered dynamic renditions of "Sing/Make You Own Kind of Music," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," and "Sweet Inspiration" (featuring memorable harmony vocals from Ray Charles' backup singers, the Raylettes), sadly none of which are preserved here on disc.
Even with the missing numbers and the loss of the sumptuous visuals that were contained in the special, AND OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS remains a terrific and adventurous album that is an easy recommendation to all fans of the ultimate diva. The project overall did not fare particularly well with the public, however, with the special only pulling in modest ratings and this accompanying soundtrack stalling at a disappointing #64 on the Hot 200. It's a shame that this inventive, entertaining, and fun television special has yet to be embraced by the entertainment community, yet, like any project ahead of it's time, perhaps it will one day find a greater audience."
Kind Indulgence and Kind Permission
Robert Johnson | 03/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For 1973, strange. For 2001, amazing in style and scope.Given the paucity of quality music on TV, this underrated show deserves to be on video.If you live in NY, go to the Museum of TV and Radio and watch this show on a big screen if you can."Glad to Be Unhappy" and "I Never Has Seen Snow" are wonderful as is "Piano Practicing" (written by the man who did "The Minute Waltz")."
A mixed bag, but some gems are there!
Robert Johnson | 09/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barbra is inconsistant on this recording. The gems to be found are "I Never Has Seen Snow"--miraculous! This is a classic Harold Arlen song and Barbra's performance is beautiful. Also, "The Sweetest Sounds" with its heavenly chorus backing Barbra is simplistic and gorgeous. Listen for that long note she holds at the end of the "I Got Rythm" medley--Love those long notes!! Not bad overall, but with they would include the Ray Charles songs from the actual show and the incredible "Sing/Make Your Own Kind of Music" opening medley from the show....Please release them, Barbra!!!"