Barbra Streisand: Timeless

Barbra Streisand: Timeless (2000)
Sony Music
Cast: Barbra Streisand
Extras: Discography

’Timeless’ is Barbra Streisand’s swan song, the farewell to her fans, so to say, as she has decided to terminate her singing career – or so she says for now. Be that as it is, ’Timeless’ is and will remain an incomparable mix of songs, presented by one of America’s greatest voices. In an over 2 hour long live performance, ’Timeless’ covers many aspects and eras of Streisand’s long career and she presents each piece with a small introductory commentary, or some touching words of revelation. Her voice is in better shape than ever, one could say, as she breezes through jazz standards like ’Cry Me A River’ to Broadway pieces, such as ’Something Wonderful.’ For the entire 2 hours, Barbra Streisand is like a magnet on stage, giving us the chance to witness her talents.

Columbia Music Video is presenting ’Timeless’ on this DVD in its fullscreen aspect ratio in a transfer that is meticulously clean. Absolutely sharp and with incredible definition, the colorful concert is coming to life on this DVD, as if you were right there – only about a couple of hundred bucks cheaper. The deep and solid blacks of the transfer create an image that is very dimensional, while the glaring highlights of the stage lighting are nicely reproduced, never overly flaring or bleeding. The level of detail found on this disc is breathtaking, as most noticeably visible in some of the long shots of the stage where despite the distance, details are still clearly delineated.

The most important aspect of the disc is, of course, the audio, and it is fabulous. Containing a marvelous PCM stereo presentation of the tracks, as well as a full bodied 5.1 channel Dolby Digital version, either one is absolutely beautiful to witness. While the PCM track is without flaws, reproducing even the most subtle details in timbre, texture and sound layering, the 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track creates an atmosphere that is much more, well, surrounding. Making good use of the surround channels, the Dolby Digital track puts you right in the auditorium. With applause surrounding you, and early reflections perfectly capturing the live ambiance of the show, this track is among the best live multi channel recordings I have heard. A superb frequency response makes sure the presentation is without coloring and reproduces the lowest bass as well as the crystal clear high ends in the overtones of the instruments. Fans of Barbara Streisand will be mesmerized by this release, there can be no doubt. What a farewell present!