Room 68--Can a pop singer do classical?

Barbra Streisand (photo by Francesco Scavullo)

Can a pop singer do classical music too? As operatic diva Eileen Farrell proved long ago, "I’ve Got A Right To Sing The Blues." That of course was the title of her album and she did a credible job.

So, Streisand can do classical as she proved on her 1976 album, Classical Barbra. Here is her rendition of the famous song Beau Soir by Claude Debussy. I’m sure you will agree—this is a performance whose eroticism you can smell!

The fantastic lyrics, a poem by Paul Bourget are given below.


Beau Soir

Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses
Et qu'un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé,
Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses
Et monter vers le coeur troublé.

Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde
Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau,
Car nous nous en allons, comme s'en va cette onde:
Elle à la mer, nous au tombeau.

When the rivers are rosy in the setting sun,
And a mild tremor runs over the wheat fields,
A plea for happiness seems to rise out of all things
And rises towards the troubled heart.

A plea to relish the charm of being alive
While one is young and the evening is beautiful,
For we are going on, as this stream goes on:
The stream to the sea, we to the grave.

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