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The Essential Yo-Yo Ma

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
As if being the world's greatest living cellist weren't enough, Yo-Yo Ma is also one of the mere handful of genuine celebrities the classical music world has produced. In a recording career approaching three decades, he's put his stamp on nearly every nook and cranny of the standard cello repertoire while allowing his curiosity to lead him into a virtual world tour of crossover projects, too, each more successful than the last. With such a hit parade to choose from, it must have been daunting to select this program of his "essentials," but the results do justice to both the diversity and the consistent excellence of his work. It helps that the two discs divide neatly ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
As if being the world's greatest living cellist weren't enough, Yo-Yo Ma is also one of the mere handful of genuine celebrities the classical music world has produced. In a recording career approaching three decades, he's put his stamp on nearly every nook and cranny of the standard cello repertoire while allowing his curiosity to lead him into a virtual world tour of crossover projects, too, each more successful than the last. With such a hit parade to choose from, it must have been daunting to select this program of his "essentials," but the results do justice to both the diversity and the consistent excellence of his work. It helps that the two discs divide neatly into a classical résumé and a crossover one. The former includes meaty excerpts from Bach, Shostakovich, Brahms, and Dvorák, as well as lighter encores such as Saint-Saëns' The Swan and Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, to name a few that show off the unsurpassed beauty of Ma's playing. The second disc, which is programmed even better for straight-through listening, draws from popular albums including the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack, Appalachian Journey, Soul of the Tango, Obrigado Brazil, and pieces by film composers John Williams and Ennio Morricone, as well as the most recent installment of the cellist's ambitious Silk Road project. It looks like a grab-bag assortment on paper, but Ma's impeccable taste and artistry tie it all together and leave you wondering where his insatiable musical appetites will lead him -- and his listeners -- next.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2005
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969392720
  • Catalog Number: 93927
  • Sales rank: 781

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prélude (2:19)
  2. 2 II. Largo (1:46)
  3. 3 Jesus, bleibet meine Freude (2:42)
  4. 4 Schafe können sicher weiden (3:37)
  5. 5 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, chorale prelude for organ (Schübler Ch (3:48)
  6. 6 The Swan (from "Carnival of the Animals"), original (for 2 pianos & ensembl (3:08)
  7. 7 Havanaise, in E major for violin & piano (or orchestra), Op. 83 (8:50)
  8. 8 Méditation, for violin & orchestra (or other arrangement) (from opera " (5:48)
  9. 9 Liebesfreud (Love's Joy), for violin & piano (3:11)
  10. 10 Prelude No. 1. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso (1:43)
  11. 11 Vocalise, instrumental arrangement, Op. 34/14 (6:26)
  12. 12 IV. Allegro (4:25)
  13. 13 Andante cantabile, for cello and string orchestra in D major (arr. of 2 (8:21)
  14. 14 IV. Rondo alla Zingarese. Presto (8:04)
  15. 15 III. Finale. Allegro moderato (12:50)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Cristal (2:50)
  2. 2 A lenda do caboclo, for piano, A. 166 (3:11)
  3. 3 Chega de Saudade (5:01)
  4. 4 Wapango, for woodwind quintet (3:46)
  5. 5 Libertango, tango (3:11)
  6. 6 Appalachia Waltz, version for solo cello (4:20)
  7. 7 Butterfly's Day Out (4:46)
  8. 8 1B, for violin, cello & double bass (4:01)
  9. 9 Pickin' (2:34)
  10. 10 Simple Gifts (2:31)
  11. 11 Gabriel's Oboe (3:11)
  12. 12 The Falls (2:28)
  13. 13 The Eternal Vow (3:01)
  14. 14 The Cellist of Sarajevo, a lament in rondo form for cello, Op. 12 (6:57)
  15. 15 Chi passa per 'sta strada, for voices, lutes & violin (4:41)
  16. 16 Mido Mountain (3:51)
  17. 17 Mohini (Enchantment) (1:47)
  18. 18 Baroque in Rhythm (4:25)
  19. 19 Anything Goes, song (from "Anything Goes") (5:53)
  20. 20 I Could Have Danced All Night, song (from "My Fair Lady") (3:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yo-Yo Ma Primary Artist, Cello
Alison Krauss Vocals
Edgar Meyer Bass, Double Bass
Claude Bolling Piano
Paquito d'Rivera Clarinet
Stéphane Grappelli Violin
Roger Kellaway Piano
Bobby McFerrin Vocals
Daniel Humair Drums
New York Philharmonic Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Philippe Entremont Piano
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Odair Assad Guitar
Sergio Assad Guitar
Cyro Baptista Percussion
Jon Burr Bass, Double Bass
Hector Console Bass, Double Bass
Jean-Luc Dayan Drums
Marc Fosset Guitar
Horacio Malvicino Guitar
Néstor Marconi Bandoneon
Ennio Morricone Conductor
Nilson Matta Bass, Double Bass
Marc Michel Bass, Double Bass
Mark O'Connor Mandolin, Violin
Isaac Stern Violin
César Camargo Mariano Piano
Antonio Agri Violin
Kurt Masur Conductor
Emanuel Ax Piano
Tan Dun Conductor
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Roma Sinfonietta Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Gilda Buttà Piano
Rosa Passos Guitar, Vocals
David Cossin Drums
Leonardo D. Marconi Piano
Kathryn Stott Piano
Stephen Prutsman Piano
Ton Koopman Organ, Conductor, Harpsichord
Lorin Maazel Conductor
Silk Road Ensemble Ensemble
Jaime Laredo Viola
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Shanghai Percussion Ensemble Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble
Chen Xieyang Conductor
Jeffrey Kahane Piano
Leonardo Marconi Piano
Shanghai National Orchestra Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Patricia Zander Piano
Gaby Casadesus Piano
Claude Bolling Ensemble Ensemble
Alimjan Rawap
Kasim Drums
Technical Credits
Jascha Heifetz Arranger
Edgar Meyer Arranger, Producer
Claude Bolling Producer
Roger Kellaway Arranger
Bobby McFerrin Producer
John Williams [composer] Producer
Yo-Yo Ma Arranger
Ettore Stratta Producer
Sergio Assad Arranger
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger, Producer
Oscar Castro-Neves Producer
Ennio Morricone Composer, Producer
Mark O'Connor Composer, Producer
Georges Kadar Producer
Tan Dun Producer
James Mallinson Producer
Stephen Prutsman Arranger
Richard Einhorn Producer
Ton Koopman Arranger, Instrumentation
Gustavo Tavares Arranger
Ljova Arranger
Silk Road Ensemble Arranger
Li Cang Sang Arranger
Tini Mathot Producer
Wu Tong Arranger
Steven Epstein Producer, Reissue Producer
Grace Kristopher Row Producer
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best of Yo-Yo Ma

    This CD gives a sweeping overview of Yo-Yo Ma's career. It includes classics and modern pieces. If you only have one Yo-Yo Ma CD in your collection it should be this one as it hits all of the highlights of his career and wide range of his talent.

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    Posted December 4, 2009

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    Posted February 27, 2010

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