Friday, October 18, 2013

Where Or When

Last night, for the first time, I heard this album, from 1966.

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”.


  1. I was curious what you thought of Carnegie Hall - the acoustics and design, in particular, not necessarily the performances.

  2. Well . . .

    Carnegie Hall means nothing to me. It was nice to experience a concert in such an historic hall, but I was not particularly impressed.

    Andrew had shown me the exterior a couple of times before. I dislike the exterior.

    The interior was pretty bland, I thought, and the public spaces and washrooms were cramped and unpleasant. The concert hall in Hamburg, built at the same time as Carnegie Hall, is much more beautiful, inside and out, and has spacious and luxurious public spaces. I think Hamburg must be my favorite concert hall, although I liked Salle Pleyel in Paris, too. And Dallas has a fine concert hall, certainly.

    The acoustics at Carnegie Hall were fine, I’m sure, but I think Symphony Hall in Boston has perfect sound.

    1. I myself have never been overwhelmed by Carnegie Hall, though the sound was much better during the 70's, before they plugged up that stage ceiling. Dallas has the best-kept secret in America.