Almost perfect overview of his repertoire
B. Majewski | 07/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This double CD is very good for anyone who wants to get an overview of Yves Montand's career. The only disapointment on this CD would be that "Hollywood Odyssey" is the english version; those who want to hear his french repertoire would have preferred the french version of this song. This detail nonwithstanding, we have here the best way I know of to get "the most Montand" without having to buy a whole series of CD. Recommended."
Almost as perfect as it gets
Merilahti Kristiina | Finland | 10/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yves Montand was a real charmer (he did charm even Marilyn Monroe), he had the odd, but lovable face, lots of talent and a beautiful, expressive voice. This collection gathers most of his best known songs. To me they seem to be mostly from the 60's and they sound good, studios were already quite good in those days.Of course there is 'Feuilles mortes' - the falling leaves - and the wonderful, poetic, touching 'Barbara'. Montand is - by the way - a good help if you need to learn French. He pronounces words very beautifully and clearly. I could actually sing 'Barbara' almost word for word correctly before seeing the lyrics for the first time - with less than six months of French lessons. And it's astounding to hear, how he could carry his voice from deep, full notes to high, flute-like sounds as if it were the easiest thing in the world, so lightly and naturally. He was known to do some acrobatic things on stage, but he really didn't need them, his voice was enough.'Les feuilles mortes' and 'Barbara' are based on poems by Jacques Prévért, and Montand recorded also others. If I remember correctly, 'Dans ma maison' is one of them. There are also nice little chansons like 'Chansonnette' and 'Bicyclette', happy songs that stay in your mind. And beautiful 'Les enfants qui s'aiment'... However, one of the most striking ones is the dramatic 'Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent?' Is this how people live? It reminds that Montand was also a good actor, best chansons require so much more than just a voice as Montand and Brel proved. Other songs reach from jazzy ones (Americans propably find 'Battling Joe' funny because of the way 'Joe' is pronounced) to Brahms ('Quand tu dors pres de moi') and there's also the little act Montand and Signoret used to perform together ('Telegramme'). It isn't a song, Montand calls to dictate an amorous telegraph and Signoret is the clerk, who reads it as the most boring grocery list in the world. It's hilarious.Why not five stars, since I'm so obviously a fan and this is a good collection? Because it has forgotten some of the best. Where is the delicious, sensual 'C'est si bon'? And 'A Paris'? Or the beautiful 'Sa jeunesse', that really brings out Montand's voice in all its skillfulness and tenderness? Still, this collection is a really good addition, if you are looking for the best French music."