Barbra Streisand doesn’t just sing a song, she adds a dramatic element to a performance that few other singers can match, and that is oh, so evident on her new 3-disc DVD release: Streisand The Concerts.  The singer is the music industry’s top female artist with 50 Gold, 30 Platinum and 13 Multi-Platinum albums to her credit.  She is second in the all-time charts, ahead of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, exceeded only by Elvis.  She continues to be the highest album-selling female recording artist ever, with 29 having achieved top ten status.  Streisand remains the only artist to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, and Peabody Awards, and the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

Wow! And that could well be the reaction most fans will have to this DVD set.  It was released the end of April by Hip-O/Universal Music Enterprises and showcases some of Barbra’s most memorable concerts, with favorites such as “People” “Funny Girl” and “Evergreen” Other special exclusives include 17 songs never-before released on DVD, and behind-the-scenes moments with one of the most beloved artists of all time.

Along with the talents of Ms. Streisand, music lovers get the bonus of hearing the amazing operatic quartet, Il Divo. They sing with Barbra on a number of songs, as well as doing a few without her. During the live concert when they sang “My Way” in French and English, the crowd was on its feet before the last note even sounded.

Barbra Streisand has a career that spans 46 years, and in all that time she has only written about ten songs. She joked about that and her inept piano playing before she played the first song she wrote when she was 22, studying music in France — “Ma Premiere Chanson” . Only someone of her stature and grace could play that poorly and not lose an ounce of credibility as a performer, a moment that was enhanced when she moved on to a stunning rendition of one of her all-time time classics, “Evergreen.”

Most fans know that Streisand is devoted to her son, Jason, and she includes some of the music he gifted her with when she was doing the movie, Yentl. Talking about her son was a perfect segue into “Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen”. The song has a strong message for parents, “Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will watch.

“What do you leave to your child when you’re dead?

“Only what you put in their head.”

The passion that Barbra has for her son, and all children, as well as political and humanitarian issues comes across in her music and in these DVDs, but doesn’t detract at all. In fact, that passion seems to drive many of the songs, as well as the commentaries in between. When someone cares this deeply about what they do, it can’t help but raise the performance above the ordinary.

This is a beautifully packaged and rendered set of DVDs from filming, orchestra, costumes, and set. It is both a visual and audible treat.  It can be purchased here:


Maryann Miller — Maryann’s Web site

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