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on December 12, 1999
As Johnson noted in the booklet, only a singer like Ann Murrey can handle these melodies. They stretch from the very bottom to the very high, both in pitch and mood and style. Bizet is a born melody maker, as these songs confirm. But we can easily learn in these melodies that Bizet's style are not fully mature yet, althogh some melodies ranked among the masterpieces. Through these melodies we can understand that after these experiments how Bizet gradually reached his great "Carmen"---a very wonderful listening experience. Here Murrey's voice as well as Johnson's piano are clear and exuberant, their intepretation are well enough. All six melodies of "Feuiles d'album" are excellent, especially "Le grillon". Other memorable ones are "Berceuse", "Pastorale". My only dissatisfied one is "Adieux de l'hotesse arabe", with too much contemplation.
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