Irish composer Brian Byrne says working with Barbra Streisand was “bizarre and wonderful”


Barbra Streisand

Working with the great Barbra Streisand is “bizarre but wonderful,” according to an Irish composer whose original song, “If It’s Meant to Be,” is featured on her latest album Release Me.

Brian Byrne was approached a while back by Babs’ people asking if he’d write a song for the diva. His finished product was originally planned for her album What Matters Most which was released in the summer of 2011, but it didn’t make the cut because she went with songs composed by her long-time collaborators Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

Cue 12 months later, and Byrne got the call that she wanted his song for her next collection.  They got together to record it, and Byrne, a prior Golden Globe nominee currently based with the RTE Concert Orchestra in Ireland, was thrilled.

"She was great; tough, but great. I find when you get up on the podium and you work with any singer in the world, you go with what you know. Before you get there you're nervous but when you're up on the stand, it's like driving a car,” he said.

"We recorded the orchestra and we sent the orchestra home. And as an option I worked with her for three hours on the piano.”

The incomparable Barbra also lends her voice on Release Me to the Irish favorite “How Are Things in Glocca Morra” from Finian’s Rainbow.  She first recorded the song 20 years ago for her album Back to Broadway.


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