To categorize CLASSIC YO-YO as simply a greatest-hits collection would be inaccurate. This compilation offers a glimpse of the breadth of a great artist's ability. It effectively conveys the essence of Yo-Yo Ma, not simply the virtuosity of a supremely gifted cellist--arguably the finest of his time--but the intelligence, insight, and assiduousness of a musician who continually seeks new challenges, explores diverse musical territories, and refuses to be pigeonholed.
The album begins, appropriately, with his remarkable account of the Prelude from J. S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, continuing through to an eclectic assortment that includes Piazzolla tangos, a Gershwin Prelude, and an excerpt from Tan Dun's score for the film CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, as well as pieces by Fauré, Brahms, and Dvorák. The disc also features tracks from the "Appalachian" collaborations with Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor, and several bonuses in the form of previously unreleased material: Piazzolla's Tango Sensation: FEAR and new recordings of John Williams' "American Collection" Theme and the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" featuring Alison Krauss. CLASSIC YO-YO is an excellent introduction for the uninitiated, but also holds value for anyone already familiar with the work of this extraordinary artist.