The ghost of Schweitzer hovers around this recording beyond the fact that it is dedicated to the Albert Schweitzer Institute for the Humanities. The programme includes, in the three chorale preludes, Schweitzer’s favourite Bach works, and the magnificent Arp Schnitger organ at Zwolle was one he himself played. More than that, though, Michael Murray’s performances are strongly influenced by, if not deliberately modelled on, Schweitzer’s style of Bach playing.
Schweitzer’s Bach was statuesque; the music placed on a plinth with every individual note painstakingly sculpted to derive maximum emotional and symbolic significance. The resulting performances unfold with a grandiloquence and weight quite at odds with the more matter-of-fact style of modern-day Bach playing.– Marc Rochester, Gramophone [5/1997]
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.