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Essential Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

Price: $13.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Essential Yo-Yo Ma + Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone + The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites Complete
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Product Details

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma
  • Audio CD (August 16, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000A7Q29G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,442 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prélude from Suite No. 1 in G Major for Cello, BWV 1007
2. II. Largo from "Winter", Op. 8, No. 4, RV 297 from the Four Seasons
3. Jesus, bleibet meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring), BWV 147
4. Schafe können sicher weiden (Sheep May Safely Graze), BWV 208
5. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake), BWV 645
6. The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Chamber Version)
7. Havanaise, Op. 83
8. Méditation from Thaďs
9. Liebesfreud Instrumental
10. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso from Three Preludes
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Cristal
2. A lenda do caboclo
3. Chega de Saudade Live
4. Wapango Live
5. Libertango
6. Appalachia Waltz Solo Cello Version
7. Butterfly's Day Out
8. 1B
9. Pickin' from Three Pieces for Solo Cello
10. Simple Gifts
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Here are three dozen pieces of music, all played by Yo-Yo Ma, culled from his extensive discography. Aside from the technical mastery and beautiful tone that are absolutes in all of his playing, one is dazzled by his curiosity and ability to adapt to so many forms and types of music. His Bach and Vivaldi are pellucid and played with non-sentimental crispness, his tango music gritty and rhythmically pungent, his jazz seemingly spontaneous, the "Meditation" from Thais simply ravishing, "Anything Goes" a romp, and the Appalachian music performed with both respect and a great twang, while the traditional Chinese music is fascinating. It's really a matter of how much Ma loves whatever he plays here, how entirely he becomes involved in it, and what a fine partner he invariably is to other musicians. This collection is a doozy--it is truly "essential." --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
117 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far More Than a Potpourri October 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Not being a fan of 'best of' or 'highlights' recordings which always seem to be a commercial re-hash of successful records gathered for increased monetary drivers, this 2 CD collection of THE ESSENTIAL YO-YO MA did not immediately appeal. But for some reason it became part of the library and now this listener is so touched by this collection that a review is merited.

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 Thaďs, 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
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title of the album says it all August 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
If you've been meaning to buy something of Yo-Yo Ma's for years now, but never got around to it, or if you own a few albums but wish you had more - this collection is perfect!

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.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start with the Cello November 7, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is a great CD to be introduced to some of the finest cello pieces and playing. As one of the most beautiful instruments by played by the best Cellist today, you can't miss.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After heearing both discs-- totally Out-0f-Sight! August 1, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Before first hearing this awesome Essential Yo-Yo Ma, my hearing Yo-Yo Ma in person came from a few feet from front-stage. Yet hearing him on ear-phones on this CD each morning, you get such erie aura of inner presence, from the Prelude of Bach Suite No 1 in G major, then Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Sheep May Safely Graze, full Orchestra with Wachet Auf, "Simple Gifts" played by the Master Musician, sung by the plaintive soprano voice of an angel, two Morricone Pieces, "Gabriel's Oboe and the Falls" + "The Eternal Vow," from the Crouching Tiger and "The Cellist of Sarajevo." It is 153 minutes of blessed, calming, soothing, heavenly, Eternally Peaceful, flowing of Melodies!

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
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! October 1, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Between these two disks, the listener experiences the expansive swath of this virtuoso's briliant repetoire. I bought the disk primarily for Bach's Prelude from Cello Suite No 1 in G Major, but I also loved the other Bach selections and the hauntingly beautiful rendition of "Simple Gifts". I have heard other performances by Yo-Yo Ma of this Cello suite selection, but I found this version to be the most stylistically appealing--at least by my humble tastes. I usually avoid compilation cds ("best of" is usually a turn off), but this is a definite thumbs-up. At the very least, it will point the way to other selections to pursue in greater depth. It really is a great musical find!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YoYo Ma Rocks! March 8, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Although I had previously purchased YoYo Ma CDs with classical music, I was intrigued by this CD. Had I not already been playing, incessantly, "YoYo Ma plays Ennio Morricone", I probably wouldn't have known how exquisitely he plays the cello. The nuances are perfection. This CD has the selections from "The Mission" by Ennio Morricone (Gabriel's Oboe, The Falls), as well as "The Swan" from C. Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals" and Massenet's "Meditation" from Thais. Throw in Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Bach and Tchaikovsky, and you have a perfect mix of classical, contemporary, eclectic and just plain wonderful. I've purchased additional YoYo Ma CDs, as well as Ennio Morricone CDs, and this cold, dark winter has been enlivened and I feel like spring is just around the corner. All because of YoYo Ma's interpretations of a wide selection of music. I recommend this CD to everyone who has an appreciation of all types of music, but especially those who enjoy YoYo Ma's exuberance and talented interpretation of any and all music. YoYo Ma Rocks!
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I haven't had any problems with it at all and I've used multiple players for it. I highly recommend it.
Oct 8, 2008 by Conner Macleod |  See all 2 posts
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