Essential Yo Yo Ma:
A performance of highlight movements and shorter pieces
I am usually not a fan of CD’s that contain highlights of music, other than possibly Opera, where I may want to hear a favorite performer, and I might be impatient to listen to the other stuff that could take 3 hours. Not so, with Concerti, however. A work such as the Dvorak Cello concerto, for example, requires – in my view – a careful listening to the entire 3-movement work.
Still, variety has its place in music. And that’s you get here:
Two CD’s with shorter works that range from Bach, Vivaldi, traditional Chinese melodies, Brahms, and many others. Accompaniment is by several different orchestras, pianists, and also such people as Bobby McFerrin.
Of course, the main offering is Yo Yo Ma, the artist: Always highly musical, flawless phrasing and intonation, and in each case, he presents a journey for the listener. The Cello sound is unique, coming from such an artist, playing an instrument built in the 1700’s.
Listen carefully to the Brahms, which is one of my favorites on Disk 2: Rondo alla Zingarese: Presto from Quartet No. 1 in G minor for Piano and strings: What excitement that is! It is the last movement from a Quartet, where Brahms used a Hungarian Folk tune to get the audience on its feet, out of their chairs with joy!
If you’d like to hear samples, go to: