We'll Be Together Again is a 1994 album by Lena Horne. At the 1995 Grammy Awards, Horne was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for this album. Lena Horne is nine years older than the 70-something Tony Bennett, and like him has lost a good bit of power and tone from her voice. Unlike Bennett, though, she doesn't try to bull her way through her vocal limits on We'll Be Together Again; she stays within those limits and fashions a striking testament to the subtleties of romance and friendship in one's autumnal years. Billy Strayhorn was one of Horne's very best off-stage friends, and seven of the 16 tracks here were written by Strayhorn and/or his partner Duke Ellington. Three more songs–"My Buddy," "Old Friend" and the title tune–are heartfelt remembrances of those once dearest to Horne and now gone–Strayhorn, her ex-husband, her son, her hairdresser and her wardrobe mistress.
If you're looking for one album documenting the career of Marilyn Horne, this is the one to buy. Composed mostly of operatic excerpts from the 1960s and '70s, but also including some art song and concert selections from the 1980s, Decca's Just for the Record: The Golden Voice captures the sound and fury of Horne in her prime. Most everything Horne was known for is here: Handel, Rossini, Bellini, some Verdi, and Bizet's Carmen.
This recording marks ground zero of the Three Tenors phenomenon and reminds you of all that it was supposed to be. There's only one tenor here–Luciano Pavarotti–and because he's partnered by different voice types–soprano Joan Sutherland and mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne– the possibilities of substantial artistic collaboration are much greater. Though this event was heavily hyped and would've driven audiences wild no matter what, the singers use the concert as an occasion to do things they'd never do on the opera stage, such as the Sutherland-Pavarotti duet from Otello". In their prime, they were one of the great operatic teams, as were Sutherland and Horne. And this concert gives ample evidence why. It's essential for fans of these singers.
This magnificent performance is without a doubt among the top two or three Handel opera recordings in the catalog. John Nelson outdoes even the period instrument competition, conducting with a vitality and freshness that sweeps all before it. Kathleen Battle is a great Semele (if listening to this woman sing "Myself I Will Adore" isn't a classic example of typecasting, then what is?). But the real palm must go to Marilyn Horne as the jealous Juno, who simply stops the show with her two arias (she sings Ino as well). A very great recording.