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Simply Baroque (Expanded Edition)

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Album Review

Performing on the baroque cello (outfitted with gut strings and without an endpin, making it so that the performer has to clutch the instrument between his/her legs), Yo-Yo Ma delivers the warm, listener-friendly classical music that he has become known for. Supported by conductor Ton Koopman's period Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ma presents a wholly unusual interpretation of some of Bach's better known Baroque works, as well as some lesser known pieces by Italian composer Luigi Boccherini.

The sound of the baroque cello changes the mood of each familiar piece to something warmer and more intimate. The string composition has a less dry tone than the usual wound string, and the absence of the endpin means that there is no sound traveling through the floor, therefore all of the sound comes directly from the body of the instrument. Ma's skilled handling of the pieces evolve Simply Baroque beyond an interesting experiment and into a beautiful listening experience.

Customer Reviews


I'm befuddled that nobody has reviewed this absolute gem. With the opening piece (Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren), the CD trasports your ears to a different time. Yo-Yo's cello is the velvet fabric that brings the piece together by balancing out the energetic string section. The arrangements are nothing short of lovely. The combination of Yo-Yo Ma, ABO and Ton Koopman is a match made in heaven. The emotions pour out of the cello in the Erbame dich in a way that makes this atheist feel the emotional pull of religion through the music. I think Bach would have cried to hear Yo-Yo Ma play. Jesus, bleibet meine Freude (Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring) is personally not my favorite piece- I've been overexposed to it, but I cannot get enough of the recording here. It's absolutely sublime. An absolute must-have.


These performances are amazing.

A wonderful Yo-Yo Ma album!

I have the CD to this, and it is a real curiosity the extent that Ma went to to get the sounds out of his cello that he did. He used authentic baroque strings, removed the endpin from his cello, and used a different bow. The results are fantastic! This is an album not to be missed.


Born: October 7, 1955 in Paris, France

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Multiple Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma has a celebrity status and appeal that stretch far beyond fans of classical music. His success is due to a willingness to try new things, a genuine wish to share what he enjoys, plus a mastery of his instrument that comes through regardless of the musical style. Ma was born in Paris and, as the child of two musicians, naturally began music lessons very early, trying piano and all the string instruments before settling on cello. His first public performance...
Full Bio

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