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Not that this generous sampling of 36 works has not been available before, and to the purists the excerpts may be annoyingly programmed. But the true beauty of this remarkable album is that it captures the humanity of Ma's spirit and that presence makes each band go beyond the technical finesse and into the heart of the musician.
Included in this collection are works for solo cello (especially Bach), for cello and piano, cello and voice (in an eerily transcendent 'Vocalise' of Rachmaninoff), cello and chamber ensemble, cello and orchestra, and cello and folk instruments. There are works form his Morricone album, his foray into the Appalachian series, the Tango series, the jazz series, single items like the Méditation from Thaïs, The Swan from Carnival of the Animals, and finally selections from the Silk Road album. The joy here is not just the variety of music, it is the complete devotion to each form of music that makes Ma the universal classical musician he has become.
For more in depth listening of your favorite bands on this collection you may turn to the original recordings, but for the casual listener - and those who always thought recordings like this were less than satisfactory (!) - this remarkable collection has universal appeal and pays homage to Yo-Yo Ma the brilliant cellist and the Humanist. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, October 05
Not for the hard-core fan or collector, the Essential series is still fantastic for more casual fans.
Pieces from Bach, his Appalachian CDs, show tunes, film scores, traditional Chinese tunes - this collection of 35 pieces is a wonderful smattering of Ma's wide-ranging career.
No new recordings are included here, but since Ma has put out more than 70 CDs, it's difficult to own them all (or even most). This collection is a good start.
After heaing both discs of 76 & 77 minutes for two months, I list it with my top 10 classical discs of Choral Classics of Ancient Russian Treasures, Robert Shaw Choral Masterpiences, Brahms Violin Concerto, and Essential George Gershwin! Joyfully from fully-retired Chaplain, Fred W Hood
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Essential for any yo yo ma enthusiast ... the variety is what makes it so entertaining !Published 17 days ago by JJ
If you're a cello fan, this is the perfect addition to your CD collection. Yo-Yo Ma has been at the forefront of cello musicians for many years, and rightly so. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Cool
I like the first CD of the set better---entirely adagio. The second is more upbeat.Published 3 months ago by Esperanza
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