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Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone

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Audio CD, January 1, 2004
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Product Details

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma
  • Orchestra: Roma Sinfonietta
  • Conductor: Ennio Morricone
  • Composer: Ennio Morricone
  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0002YCVXI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,156 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Mission: Gabriel's Oboe
2. The Mission: The Falls
3. Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Playing Love from The Legend of 1900
4. Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Nostalgia from Cinema Paradiso
5. Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Looking for You (Love Theme) from Cinema Paradiso
6. Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Malena (Main theme)
7. Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Remembering (Ricordare)*
8. Sergio Leone Suite: Deborah's Theme from Once Upon A Time In America
9. Sergio Leone Suite: Cockeye's Song from Once Upon a Time in America
10. Sergio Leone Suite: Main Theme from Once Upon a Time in America
11. Sergio Leone Suite: Main Theme from Once Upon a Time in the West
12. Sergio Leone Suite: Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
13. Brian DePalma Suite: Main Theme from Casualities of War
14. Brian DePalma Suite: Death Theme from The Untouchables
15. Moses and Marco Polo Suite: Journey from Moses
16. Moses and Marco Polo Suite: Theme from Moses
17. Moses and Marco Polo Suite: Main Theme from Marco Polo
18. The Lady Caliph: Dinner
19. The Lady Caliph: Nocturne

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Yo-Yo Ma's first collaboration with acclaimed Italian film composer, Ennio Morricone. Features original cello & orchestra arrangements by Morricone of his most popular themes: "The Mission," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "Cinema Paradiso" and others.


Ennio Morricone is well-known to moviegoers. His soundtracks for The Mission, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America, Cinema Paradiso, and others are invariably warmly melodic and superbly suited to the films they grace. They not only add atmosphere; they help tell the story. For this CD Morricone has created new orchestrations for many of his scores, adding a solo cello part for the indefatigable Yo-Yo Ma, whose musical curiosity seems to be endless. Outside the films, these pieces tend to be lovely melodies, mostly pretty sentimental stuff, and, in the best way, gorgeous aural wallpaper. The most moving are the two selections from The Mission, but fans of Morricone's music will find plenty to enjoy here. Ma's playing, as always, is exquisite---warm, deeply felt (given the circumstances), and entirely idiomatic within the context. Perhaps not quite for the classical music lover, but an affectionate reworking of music by an important film composer. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

It's just beautiful music.
Morricone's music is absolutely wonderful, this is one of those cd's you can just put in and let run cause all of the tracks are wonderful.
Daniel Graser
This is my favorite by Yo-Yo Ma.
Joyce R. Schwartz Joyce R. Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Gwyn Gwyrdd on December 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I had the privilege of seeing Yo Yo Ma in concert here in the U.S. when he was a relative newcomer in the classical world. I was a little girl and I sat in that symphony hall and cried as I watched a man and his instrument become one.

I have not had that sort of emotional response to anything Ma has done since that time, no matter how wonderful and perfect his playing is. That being said, this album made me cry like a baby. In the store. Yes, in public. The level of emotional perfection and purity in Ma's intonality - the gentle caress of each note is simply unmatched. And as other reviewers have already stated, the entire album is consistent.

Yo Yo Ma aside for a moment, I was already fan of some of the pieces on this album before hearing Ma's interpretation. Being familiar with them, I really wondered about their adaptibility to cello performance. What surprised me is that not only does every piece chosen work - but they outdo their original and marvelous construction. Yo Yo Ma has raised the level of Morricone's compositions to heights that a Morricone fan would not have ever believed possible. As a result, you will appreciate both of these artists more for what each has done for the other.

If I could only own one album by Yo Yo Ma, this, folks, would be it.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Mark D Burgh on October 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ennio Morricone's sense of melody is unsurpassed not only in the world of film, but in Art music and Popular music as well. From the mid-1960's on, when Morricone wrote devestating, original scores for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, Morricone's ability to combine classical melodic lines with grunts, whistles, electric guitars and drums often surpassed the films he scored. His music, unlike most film composer's, adds new layers of meaning onto whatever images flash by.

Yo-Yo Ma's melodic feel matches Morricone's evocative melodies; I would have never imagined the cello being an effective vehicle for a Morricone transcription, but now that I hear Ma playing, I hear how obvious and how perfect the congruence sounds. The richness of Morricone's later scores - Cinema Paradiso - The Mission - The Untouchables surround me with a palpable presence that outlives the echoes of the the film's images.

My personal favorite of Morricone's work has always been "The Good, the Bad, and Ugly," and while Ma only plays one selection, the piece he chose, "The Ecstasy of Gold" makes up for the lack of other music from the film. The tense theme works around a circular four note statement that grows and grows in intensity and speed, eventually accompanied by drums and full orchestra, until Ma's cellos fills the room with urgency, greed, and violence.

I can't recommend this CD too highly for lovers of Ennio Morricone or Yo-Yo Ma.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit I was disappointed with Yo-Yo Ma's last album, "Obrigado Brazil", which uneasily and unwisely mixes his unparalleled cello playing with a wide panorama of somewhat incompatible Brazilian music. Fortunately, this time around, his vast musical curiosity pays off with this beautiful recording, a splendid tribute to the film music of composer Ennio Morricone. Produced by the composer himself, the disc has a langourous, often romantic quality that immediately evokes the films they represent. I heard it as I was browsing at my local Virgin Megastore and immediately knew I wanted to own it.

The most impressive aspect of this album is that it's not a simple replay of the scores but an actual reworking of these familiar themes into new symphonic arrangements which sound as if they were composed specifically for an orchestra featuring a cello soloist. The album offers eight tracks, which combine music from different films by the same director (e.g., Sergio Leone, Brian de Palma) into a series of suites, as well as providing shorter arrangements of individual themes. Most of Morricone's most popular melodies are here, in particular, pieces from "The Mission", "Cinema Paradiso" (almost too briefly represented here) and the main theme from "Malena". It's all quite superb as the recording melds together in a dream-like way. Accompanied ably by the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, Ma is in top form throughout, subtly capturing all the rich emotions in each piece. Granted the music does have a certain monotony of tone that makes it ideal for playing in the background, this is nonetheless a virtuoso performance by all concerned. Strongly recommended to anyone who loves film scores rich in aural beauty and visual recollection.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By amazonka on September 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Cello sound reminds me a human voice. When I hear a cello, I feel something inside my chest. I cannot explain this, but I feel very deeply the cello voice. It's a very emotional experience for me. That's why I love it very much!

Recently, I discovered, that Yo-Yo Ma plays Morricone. I am sure you know the music of the famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Now, imagine all his famous titles are re-arranged for cello and orchestra. CD includes the most relaxing themes from such movies as The Mission, Cinema Paradiso, Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and many others.

I recommend this CD to fans of classical crossover, soundtrack lovers and those who just need to relax with an excellent music.
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