The Essential Yo-Yo Ma
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The Essential Yo-Yo Ma seems to be a presentation of the recordings in which the esteemed cellist has participated that might have the widest appeal to the general market. There's nothing wrong with that. But it isn't too easy to select a "best-of" for an artist such as this, grounded in classical music but adding his talents to forms of popular and world music as well. So this two-disc, 35-track set might not be pure enough for the classical devotee, nor have enough accessible non-classical pieces for the popular music-oriented listener. What it does offer, indisputably, is a lot of the music recorded by the musician between 1978 and 2004, and a lot of different kinds of pieces. Disc one is the more classical-based of the pair, with works by Bach, Vivaldi, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Brahms, and Dvorák (as well as George Gershwin's "Prelude No. 1"). Yo-Yo Ma's cello is placed in diverse contexts here, within orchestras at times of course, but also in settings in which he's accompanied only by a pianist or a few musicians (including, on Rachmaninov's Vocalise, singer Bobby McFerrin). On disc two are tracks that put the cellist's talents into various forms of Latin music (as an accompanist to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Astor Piazzolla), folk (on numbers composed by Mark O'Connor and "Simple Gift," with Alison Krauss as vocalist), traditional Chinese sounds ("Mido Mountain"), soundtracks (extracts from Ennio Morricone's score to The Mission), and even Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" (with jazz great Stéphane Grappelli on violin). The cello playing is stellar throughout and the varying ensembles very well recorded. However, more specialized listeners might prefer individual works on which the artist has performed, rather than an eclectic stylistic assortment such as this.
Tight, crisp, uplifting sound. A brilliant piece of musical accomplishment.
Born: October 07, 1955 in Paris, France
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs by Yo-Yo Ma
||Gabriel's Oboe||The Essential Yo-Yo Ma||3:11||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude||The Essential Yo-Yo Ma||2:19||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||The Mission: Gabriel's Oboe||Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone (Remastered)||3:12||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||While My Guitar Gently Weeps (feat. India.Arie)||Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time (Deluxe Version)||6:02||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Simple Gifts||Classic Yo-Yo||2:34||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||The Chairman's Waltz||Memoirs of a Geisha (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)||2:39||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Thaïs: Méditation||The Essential Yo-Yo Ma||5:48||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||The Wexford Carol||Songs of Joy & Peace||4:20||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Here Comes the Sun||Songs of Joy & Peace||2:50||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Carnival of the Animals, R. 125: XIII. The Swan||The Essential Yo-Yo Ma||3:08||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Attaboy||The Goat Rodeo Sessions||5:42||$1.29||View in iTunes|