Friday, October 18, 2013
Where Or When
I have never paid much attention to Barbra Streisand, but Streisand’s version of the Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart “Where Or When” appears on “Color Me Barbra” and Streisand’s is a performance on the level of high art, something akin to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, in that both singers were capable of displaying complete mastery of text, vocal line and mood. I had to listen to the track over and over; it helped me understand why Glenn Gould thought Streisand one of the greatest singers of the day, irrespective of category.
“Where Or When” was written for the 1937 musical, “Babes In Arms”. “Babes In Arms” has dropped by the wayside over the years, probably the victim of a bad book, but the show produced several standards in addition to “Where Or When”, including “The Lady Is A Tramp”, “My Funny Valentine” and “Johnny One Note” (the latter two, at one time or another, were also recorded by Streisand).
George Balanchine was the choreographer for “Babes In Arms”.