Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Credit Yo-Yo Ma with the gift of perfect timing. On the heels of the passing of Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, and Elmer Bernstein -- great film composers whose deaths within the span of a month in mid-2004 provoked widespread "end-of-an-era" pronouncements -- Ma delivers this homage to one of their most esteemed colleagues, Ennio Morricone. The prolific Morricone boasts hundreds of film scores over his long career, and Ma's album focuses on some of the best known, collecting music from Once Upon a Time in America, Cinema Paradiso, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to name a few. Morricone crafted the lush arrangements specifically to highlight Ma's expressive cello, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Credit Yo-Yo Ma with the gift of perfect timing. On the heels of the passing of Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, and Elmer Bernstein -- great film composers whose deaths within the span of a month in mid-2004 provoked widespread "end-of-an-era" pronouncements -- Ma delivers this homage to one of their most esteemed colleagues, Ennio Morricone. The prolific Morricone boasts hundreds of film scores over his long career, and Ma's album focuses on some of the best known, collecting music from Once Upon a Time in America, Cinema Paradiso, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to name a few. Morricone crafted the lush arrangements specifically to highlight Ma's expressive cello, grouping much of the music into suites centered on the directors Giuseppe Tornatone, Sergio Leone, and Brian De Palma. Other tracks feature themes from Roland Joffé's The Mission, the television miniseries Moses and Marco Polo, and music from Alberto Bevilacqua's The Lady Caliph. Throughout, Ma's deft touch and plush tone animate the composer's singing melodies -- try the music to The Mission, in which a plangent oboe soars with Ma's countermelody over an accompaniment of verdant strings, or the equally lovely music to Once Upon a Time in America, which matches the Romantics in lyrical sweep. No doubt, Ma's star power will incite many listeners to explore further the oft-overlooked film composer's art, and this abundantly tuneful album is a perfect point of entry.
All Music Guide - James Manheim
Sure to remain a top seller on the classical charts for some time to come, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone is a new installment in the great cellist's long series of crossover albums. It diverges from most of the others, however, in its collaborative aspect: the music's original creator, Morricone, had as much to do with this album as did Ma and his creative team. Morricone's career in film music began during the era of the spaghetti Western in the 1960s and has flourished ever since, on both sides of the Atlantic. Morricone and Ma met at the 2001 Academy Awards, where Ma was performing and Morricone was nominated for his score to Giuseppe Tornatore's Malèna. They hatched the idea for this album together, and all the adaptations of Morricone's music are his own. He also conducts the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra. Overall, the results are gorgeous. Morricone opens and closes the album with pairs of excerpts from two individual films, The Mission and the rarely seen The Lady Caliph. In between are four suites of excerpts, three of them associated with Morricone's favorite directorial collaborators Sergio Leone, Brian de Palma, and Tornatore. These suites, comprising varied but closely related stretches of music, really allow Ma to go to town. He has rarely achieved a more lushly beautiful tone or a more direct emotional appeal. Morricone deftly adapts his music for the cello-and-orchestra combination. At different times, Ma's cello plays the role of another solo instrument the pan pipes in the Mission score, for instance, sings the wordless vocal lines that populate many of Morricone's scores, or plays lines of orchestral counterpoint that are elaborated into some pretty fancy fingerwork. The only complaints pertain to the selection of music, and it's debatable whether there's really anything to complain about. Represented here are Morricone's big, romantic scores, mostly of fairly recent vintage. Cinema Paradiso, two cues from which are included, is an example casual filmgoers may be acquainted with. The edgier, more experimental scores Morricone wrote for Western and suspense films are ignored, and it was these that endeared the composer to scenesters like John Zorn, who recorded a memorable deconstruction of The Big Gundown some years ago. On the few tracks where electronic elements are introduced, they aren't well integrated into the general concept. As a whole, though, the album hangs together wonderfully, and the music can stand up to anything in the current neo-Romantic rage. Play the "Cockeye's Song" cue from Once Upon a Time in America for classical purists unfamiliar with Morricone, and ask them to guess the composer. Watch them squirm. And then introduce one of the great composers of our time, presented by one of our foremost interpreters.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969345627
  • Catalog Number: 93456

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Mission, film score: Gabriel's Oboe - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:13)
  2. 2 The Mission, film score: The Falls - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (2:28)
  3. 3 The Legend of 1900, film score: Playing Love - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone / Amedeo Tommasi (1:48)
  4. 4 Nuovo cinema paradiso, film score (aka Cinama Paradiso): Nostalgia - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (1:58)
  5. 5 Nuovo cinema paradiso, film score (aka Cinama Paradiso): Looking for You - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (1:43)
  6. 6 Malèna, film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (4:21)
  7. 7 Una Pura formalità, film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:52)
  8. 8 Once Upon a Time in America, film score: Deborah's Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:32)
  9. 9 Once Upon a Time in America, film score: Cockeye's Song - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (2:12)
  10. 10 Once Upon a Time in America, film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (1:48)
  11. 11 Once Upon a Time in the West, film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:21)
  12. 12 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, film score: Ecstasy of Gold - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:58)
  13. 13 Casualties Of War, film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:53)
  14. 14 The Untouchables, film score: Death Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:15)
  15. 15 Moses the Lawgiver, television film score: Journey - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (2:34)
  16. 16 Moses the Lawgiver, television film score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (2:06)
  17. 17 Marco Polo, television mini-series score: Main Theme - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:24)
  18. 18 La Califfa, film score: Dinner - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (3:50)
  19. 19 La Califfa, film score: Nocturne - Ennio Morricone & Ennio Morricone (2:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yo-Yo Ma Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You will love this!

    I heard part of this CD on a radio station fund-raiser, and knew I had to purchase it. It is a very relaxing and soothing CD as only Yo-Yo Ma can do. I love to play it while reading as it is great background music.If you have any other CD's by Yo-Yo Ma, You definitely want to add this to your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Possibly the most beautiful CD you'll ever hear

    Thrilling, heartbreaking, pensive, peaceful, tense, all in one. The world's greatest cellist collaborates with the world's greatest film composer. Enough said.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this is PERFECT!! except one thing..

    Yo-Yo Ma is the best cellist i think he did great job describing the world of Morricone's music. However, i wish they have not cut one big music into two three little tracks. it was really weird. except that, this is the best CD i ever found in my whole life. *i wish i can give 4.99999 for rating thing..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Morricone Fan

    Recordings of Ennio Morriconi's music are too rare, and now to have the talent of Yo-Yo Ma at the center of it is such a thrill. If there is a God, I believe this is what he intended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a fantastic CD !!

    Combining two great musical talents, this CD is an absolute must for anyone who enjoys good music. It's so beautiful I can't stop playing it. Highly recommend !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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