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Songs of Joy & Peace

October 14, 2008 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 10, 2008
  • Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:19:21
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001HDX0YC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,707 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These days anthologies of a given leading musician with assorted guests are commonplace, and we have seen them in rock, jazz, blues, and even country. But Yo-Yo Ma is a classical musician who ventures far into other realms, from his Silk Road Project to Bossa Nova and Tango. Here is a stunning winter holiday album (not all strictly Christmas songs) where Ma makes music with major artists from around the world in unusual instrumental combinations. This album has excellent sound quality, as you would expect, but it is also an unusual 79 minutes long. The great jazz and Latin clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera appears on three tracks. Ma is joined with fiddle and bagpipes in support of an Alison Krauss vocal. Another Celtic combination, French Canadian, includes harp, piano, drums, and Natalie Macmaster on fiddle. Dave Brubeck and his cello-playing son Matt Brubeck appear; that is correct, two cellos. Cello and saxophone combine care of Joshua Redman, and how about cello and ukulele via Jake Shimabukuro! A work composed by Osvaldo Golijov brings together a sheng, santur, tabla, ney, kamancheh, shakuhachi, pipa, and Western strings of cello, violin, violas. Four different improvisations on Dona Nobis Pacem are interspersed among the tracks to help unite the recordings. And the jazz, Celtic, classical, rock, Latin, and pop tunes are all remarkably infused with holiday joy and Ma's sweet and sonorous cello. These fine and mellow pieces are not for dance parties but for enjoying the coziness, warmth, and peace of sitting with friends, viewing a fireplace or holiday lights, and tasting special food and drink. When you finish listening to this CD, expect to find a smile on your face and happiness in your heart.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By J. Kirk on November 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who enjoys professional instrumentation should find something worthy on this CD. "Songs of Joy & Peace" begins with Yo-Yo Ma's expressive solo of "Dona Dobis Pacem (Give Us Peace)", which will later be the theme of 4 improvisations with various instrumentalists on this CD.

Diana Krall and James Taylor each offer us a nice vocal recording, both of which are mostly non-Christmas, except for a small improv on the piano from Krall before she kicks into the song. Renee Fleming's song seems to be below her normal standard of performance, but is still way above average. The Krall, Taylor and Fleming recordings seem slightly out of place for the theme of a holiday CD, but they all sing with romantic warmth, which makes the inclusion of these recordings more than acceptable.

A major highlight for me is Alison Krauss' beautiful recording of "The Wexford Carol", which is a traditional Irish Christmas carol. Her vocals are perfect and the song seems natural. "The Wexford Carol" is my absolute favorite vocal track on the CD for capturing the traditional passion of the holiday season. The tracks with Chris Botti are also major highlights. I am usually partial to the trumpet with its great melodic tones. (I played the trumpet in school.) Botti sounds really professional alongside Yo-Yo Ma on the cello. Christina Pato on the bagpipes is a nice celtic highlight.

My favorite instrumental track is "My One and Only Love", with Joshua Redman on the saxophone and Yo-Yo Ma on the cello. Yo-Yo shows the expressiveness that has made him famous, and Redman is just phenomenal. "My One and Only Love" is my favorite arrangement, only rivaling the wonderful rendition of "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" with Hawaiian Jake Shimabukuro on the ukulele.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on October 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
When I bought Yo-Yo-Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy & Peace, I missed entirely the holiday connection that much of the music has. It wasn't until I actually listened to the CD and heard "Joy to the World" featuring Dave Brubeck on track three that I looked at the cover again and saw a very eclectic but thematically strong collection of holiday music.

Songs of Joy & Peace is a wonderful CD. Yo Yo Ma is at his best on each of the tracks and gives his visiting artists full range. My favorite tracks include:

2. You Couldn't be Cuter with Diana Krall and John Clayton
4. Here Comes the Sun with James Taylor
6. The Wassail Song/All Through the Night with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile
7. A Christmas Jig/Mouth of the Tobique Reel with Natalie McMaster
8. The Wexford Carol with Alison Krauss
10. Improvisation on Dona Nobis Pacem with Sérgio Assad and Odair Assad
16. Concordia with Dave Brubeck and Matt Brubeck
17. My Favorite Things with Chris Botti

Actually, this is unfair since I enjoyed the entire CD. I purchased the deluxe edition and have only viewed the 5 performances. There are other treasures yet to be explored.

Yo Yo Ma is a treasure and his ability to collaborate with other musicians from other fields and genre's of music is a treat for us all.

I'll leave the discussion about mixing and sound quality to others though it all sounded great to me.

Treat yourself.

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Almost Sixty! on November 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I watched the bonus DVD first and learned so much about why each song was chosen and how the arrangements came to be. Yo-Yo Ma is an effervescent personality who exudes such love and joy himself, the artists loved working with him. Some were old friends, some new. The music is exceptionally beautiful, with an unexpected selection for the holidays.
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