"After battling severe stage fright for the majority of the seventies and eighties, Barbra Streisand finally returned to the concert stage on September 6, 1986 for the "one night only" ONE VOICE concert. The show was heavily publicized in the media, tickets were sold at the astronomically high price of $5000 per couple, and columnists and critics everywhere were anxiously waiting to see if Streisand could overcome her immense performance-phobia and still deliver the goods. Fortunately, all of the hype was more than justified. When Streisand finally took the stage that night and opened the show with a tour de force performance of "Somewhere," every member of the audience was left in awe of the stunning power of this woman's ageless voice.
Though Streisand was visibly and audibly nervous during her first few numbers, nothing could keep her undiminished vocal prowess from shining brightly through. If anything, her occasional jitteriness only made her seem more human. She was supported not by the typical orchestra, but by a small handful of musicians on electronic instruments. This actually provides the majority of the show with a warmer and more intimate feel. With the small band and the limited orchestration, it is Streisand's golden voice that is left at the forefront of the concert - and I wouldn't have it any other way. In addition to a slate of her own signature numbers, Streisand also performs some new material, such as the lovely "A New World" (from the 1954 version of A STAR IS BORN) and the traditional "America the Beautiful," which was the perfect close to the moving evening.
A few more of the evening's many highlights include Barbra's haunting rendition "Send In The Clowns," a relaxed duet with guest Barry Gibb on "What Kind Of Fool," and a surprisingly lively performance of "The Way We Were," with a newer, more contemporary arrangement. Most impressive of all is Barbra's impassioned rendition of "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" that night is one of her most moving performances ever. Barbra also slips into a rare cover of "Over The Rainbow," and does the song more justice than anyone since Judy Garland (whom Barbra dedicates the performance to). Instead of screaming the song out at the top of her lungs like Patti Labelle and Sam Harris, Barbra gives "Over The Rainbow" a beautifully understated performance and makes the number her own.
The profits from ONE VOICE benefitted the Democratic Party, who were at the time trying to make sure a disaster like Chernobyl never happened again. Barbra's often-criticized stage dialogue on the issue may be a little heavy-handed at times, but you can tell she strongly believes every word of it. In particular, her speech proceeding "People," though unoriginal, is very moving nonetheless. It is also a bit disappointing that the disc's runtime is less than an hour, although the parody number "Send Home the Clowns" and Robin Williams' opening monologue seem to be the only major omissions from the evening's set list (and I can certainly live without both).
Other than the short runtime and the sometimes overbearing spoken statements, ONE VOICE is a great presentation of a special concert that will delight fans and even many cynics. In the end, ONE VOICE was a massive success. The concert was filmed and received record-breaking ratings when televised on HBO, while the audio recording of the show peaked at #9 on the Hot 200 and was quickly certified Platinum. Most importantly, ONE VOICE raised over $1.5 million which led Barbra to establish the "Streisand Foundation," which supports numerous charitable organizations."
Wonderful live performance
Robert Johnson | 04/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, "Barbra Streisand The concert" is her best livealbum but One Voice is still a superb live album. It was my secondalbum by Barbra Streisand and is still one of my favourites. Some of her live vocal performances in this album are masterpieces. Send in the clowns is my favourite moment of the album because I love the tune and her performance is so nice.....much better than the studio version....one of her best all time live performances. The version of Over the Rainbow is great too. Other Highlights: the hits Somewhere, Evergreen, Papa can you hear me?, The way we were..... I love this album, her voice in this album, the band, the selection of songs.....the video is excellent, too. A review of the concert in 1986 said that Barbra's voice was still the best. And it was true."
Delightful and enchanting... outstanding performance
Nancy A Draper | Maine | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barbra Streisand puts her whole heart and soul in this performance. One is taken away as she sings "Somewhere," "Evergreen," and "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" Her voice touches deep within and brings you to a level of peace and serenity. So much passion is given to each song she sings.
I especially enjoyed her rendition of "Over the Rainbow." Streisand shares with her audience a bit of reluctance she has in singing this song due to the fact that it is identified with one of the greatest singers of all time who first sang it. She dedicates the song to this wonderful woman (who we all know is Judy Garland and who Barbra had the privilege of working with.)She says, "Who knows...she might even be listening." Those words really touched me. A beautiful song sung by Judy Garland and now being sung by another legend. I once saw them perform together on Judy's television show. I'm sure Judy Garland would have wanted Barbra Streisand to sing the song with all the passion she had. And believe me, she didn't let Judy down. What a tribute! And what a voice!
This is one of Barbra Streisand's greatest works. I'm sure glad I purchased this gem.
Nancy Draper (Author) A Burden of Silence: My Mother's Battle with AIDS"
A Reason Why She Is Top Selling Female Of All Time!
Todd-Michael | USA | 12/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barbra has got it, and who says Jews are not God's Chosen people, her voice alone is proof of that! This particular CD is beyond good, she is TIMELESS & a few million of us recognize it and appreciate the Lady, for her social stances & her 5 Star voice."