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The Essential Yo-Yo Ma

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 1 in G major, BWV 1007
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno"
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" BWV 147
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 208, "Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!" (Hunt) BWV 208
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, chorale prelude for organ (Schubler Chorale no 1), BWV 645 (BC K22
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Havanaise, for violin & piano (or orchestra) in E major, Op. 83
>Massenet, Jules : Meditation (from "Thaïs")
>Kreisler, Fritz : Liebesfreud
>Gershwin, George : Preludes (3) for piano
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Songs (14), Op. 34
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11
>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, Op. 25
>Dvorak, Antonin : Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191
>Mariano, Cesar Camargo : Cristal
>Villa-Lobos, Heitor : A Lenda do Caboclo, W 166
>Jobim, Antonio Carlos : Chega de Saudade
>D'Rivera, Paquito : Wapango
>Piazzolla, Astor : Libertango
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Appalachia Waltz
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Butterfly's Day Out
>Meyer, Edgar : 1B, for violin, cello & double bass
>Williams, John : Pieces (3) for Cello solo
>Traditional, Shaker : Simple Gifts
>Morricone, Ennio : The Mission
>Tan Dun : Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, film score
>Wilde, David : Cellist of Sarajevo, Op. 12
>Azzaiolo, Fillippo : Chi passa per 'sta strada, for voices, lutes & violin
>Traditional, Chinese : Mido Mountain
>Sandeep Das / Indrajit De : Mohini (Enchantment)
>Bolling, Claude : Suite for cello & jazz piano trio
>Porter, Cole : Anything Goes, song (for the musical Anything Goes)
>Loewe, Frederick : I Could Have Danced All Night, song (for the musical My Fair Lady)
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This is the essential collection from one of the most popular musicians of our time and includes 34 tracks spanning Yo Yo Ma's entire careere from his Academy Award-winning performance on 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' to his Grammy-winning 'Soul of the Tango', to his latest hit, 'Silk Road' and more.

Time and time again, Yo-Yo Ma has captivated audiences with his stunning masterpieces and truly awe-inspiring performances. The Essential Yo-Yo Ma 2-Disc set includes 35 of Yo-Yo Ma's greatest masterpieces ranging from The Swan from Carnival of the Animals, Cristal, Gabriel's Oboe and even the epic The Eternal Vow from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Sony Classics. 2005.

Notes & Reviews:

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. ~ Richie Unterberger



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 1 in G major, BWV 1007 :: Prélude
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno"
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Ton Koopman
  • Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
  • Notes: The violin solo in this selection is performed on cello.
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1725
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" BWV 147 :: Jesus, bleibet meine Freude
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Ton Koopman (Organ); Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Ton Koopman
  • Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 07/02/1723
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Cantata no 208, "Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!" (Hunt) BWV 208 :: Schafe können sicher weiden
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Ton Koopman (Organ)
  • Conductor: Ton Koopman
  • Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 02/23/1713
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, chorale prelude for organ (Schübler Chorale no 1), BWV 645 (BC K22
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Ton Koopman (Organ)
  • Conductor: Ton Koopman
  • Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1748-1749
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Carnival of the animals
  • Performers: Gaby Casadesus (Piano); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Philippe Entremont (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Havanaise, for violin & piano (or orchestra) in E major, Op. 83
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1887
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Massenet, Jules : Meditation (from "Thaïs")
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Kreisler, Fritz : Liebesfreud
  • Performers: Patricia Zander (Piano); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: by 1910
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Gershwin, George : Preludes (3) for piano :: Prelude no 1. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
  • Performers: Jeffrey Kahane (Piano); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Songs (14), Op. 34
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Bobby McFerrin (Voice)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40 :: IV. Allegro
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Emanuel Ax (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1934.
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Andante cantabile for Cello and Strings, Op. 11
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Conductor: Lorin Maazel
  • Ensemble: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1888
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, Op. 25 :: IV. Rondo alla Zingarese. Presto
  • Performers: Jaime Laredo (Viola); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Emanuel Ax (Piano); Isaac Stern (Violin)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1861
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Concerto for Cello in B minor, Op. 104/B 191 :: III. Finale. Allegro moderato
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 12 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>César Camargo Mariano : Cristal
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Cesar Mariano (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Villa-Lobos, Heitor : A Lenda do Caboclo, W 166
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Odair Assad (Guitar); Sérgio Assad (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1920
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Jobim, Antonio Carlos : Chega de Saudade
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Cyro Baptista (Percussion); Rosa Passos (Voice); Rosa Passos (Guitar); Kathryn Stott (Piano); Nilson Matta (Double Bass)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Studio/Live: Live

>D'Rivera, Paquito : Wapango
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Cyro Baptista (Percussion); Kathryn Stott (Piano); Paquito D'Rivera (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Piazzolla, Astor : Libertango
  • Performers: Leonardo Marconi (Piano); Horacio Malvicino (Guitar); Nestor Marconi (Bandoneon); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Antonio Agri (Violin); Hector Console (Double Bass)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1974
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Appalachia Waltz
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Butterfly's Day Out
  • Performers: Mark O'Connor (Mandolin); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Edgar Meyer (Double Bass)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Meyer, Edgar : 1B, for violin, cello & double bass
  • Performers: Mark O'Connor (Violin); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Edgar Meyer (Double Bass)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Williams, John : Pieces (3) for Cello solo :: Pickin'
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Traditional, Shaker : Simple Gifts
  • Performers: Alison Krauss (Voice); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 18th Century
  • Language: English
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Morricone, Ennio : The Mission :: Gabriel's Oboe
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Gilda Butta (Piano)
  • Conductor: Ennio Morricone
  • Ensemble: Roma Sinfonietta
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1986
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Morricone, Ennio : The Mission :: The Falls
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Gilda Butta (Piano)
  • Conductor: Ennio Morricone
  • Ensemble: Roma Sinfonietta
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1986
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Tan Dun : Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, film score :: The Eternal Vow
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); David Cossin (Drums); Kasim (Drums); Alimjan (Rawap)
  • Conductor: Tan Dun
  • Ensemble: Shanghai Percussion Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 2000
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Wilde, David : Cellist of Sarajevo, Op. 12
  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Azzaiolo, Fillippo : Chi passa per 'sta strada, for voices, lutes & violin
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Silk Road Ensemble (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Silk Road Ensemble
  • Running Time: 4 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: circa 1557
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Traditional, Chinese : Mido Mountain
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Silk Road Ensemble (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Silk Road Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Sandeep Das / Indrajit De : Mohini (Enchantment)
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Silk Road Ensemble (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Silk Road Ensemble
  • Running Time: 1 min. 47 sec.
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Bolling, Claude : Suite for cello & jazz piano trio :: Baroque in Rhythm
  • Performers: Claude Bolling (Piano); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Jean-Luc Dayan (Drums); Marc Michel (Double Bass)
  • Ensemble: Claude Bolling Ensemble
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Porter, Cole : Anything Goes, song (for the musical Anything Goes)
  • Performers: Stephane Grappelli (Violin); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Marc Fosset (Guitar); Daniel Humair (Drums); Roger Kellaway (Piano); Jon Burr (Double Bass)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Loewe, Frederick : I Could Have Danced All Night, song (for the musical My Fair Lady)
  • Performers: Stephen Prutsman (Piano); Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
  • Notes: Composition written: United States of America.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Studio/Live: Studio