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Album Review

Billed as both a Barbra Streisand album and as an original motion picture soundtrack, Yentl contains the songs, sung by Streisand and written by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, that the character played by Streisand sings as internal monologues in the film, sometimes with spoken dialogue interspersed. (The album is filled out by "studio versions" of two of the songs, "The Way He Makes Me Feel" and "No Matter What Happens," played on contemporary electronic instruments, rather than in the orchestral settings used for the rest of the songs.) With such a thematic base, the music has an unusual consistency, and written specifically for Streisand, it makes use of her emotional expressiveness, phrasing, and timing as a singer. But it was also written as a complement to the film and on its own comes across as a group of isolated musical plot highlights rather than as a coherent song cycle. (Yentl won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.)

Biography

Born: 24 April 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Barbra Streisand's status as one of the most successful singers of her generation was remarkable not only because her popularity was achieved in the face of a dominant musical trend — rock & roll — which she did not follow, but also because she used her vocal skills as a mere stepping stone to other careers, as a stage and film actress and as a film director. Born in 1942 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she struggled briefly as an actress and nightclub singer in New York during...
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