Inspired by a general love of the tango, and more specifically the tango of Astor Piazzolla, on the part of Yo-Yo Ma, the Soul of the Tango album is a masterful work of the nuevo tango, played by Ma's cello and many of Piazzolla's former associates. Piazzolla's old guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad even showed up to work on a pair of tracks arranged by Sergio: the Tango Suite (consisting of Andante and Allegro). The sheer beauty of one of Piazzolla's tangos is generally enough to warrant the purchase of an album involving them. An album such as this one, where all of the songs (save one: Tango Remembrances, where Ma plays along with outtakes from Piazzolla's recording of The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night album) are compositions by Piazzolla is even better. Add to this the masterful playing of Ma, and the surprising facility in which the cello fits into the tango, and you've got what could become a classic album, if only it weren't on the classical label from Sony.
With a "bonus" eighth track of the Rondo alla Zingarese-Presto from Brahms' First Piano Quartet filling out this CD to a near maximal 75 minutes and 55 seconds, this disc is a steal. The Double Concerto by Brahms is an energetic and riveting yet enigmatic addition to the concerto repertoire. With a combination of solo instruments not widely used since the Baroque era due to their contrasting sounds, this work presents some unique challenges in finding the proper balance between orchestra, solo violin, and solo cello.
CBS/Sony Classical has been accompanying superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma for decades on his journey through the unsurpassed works written for his instrument by Johann Sebastian Bach. The label is now pleased to announce the release of important landmarks from that journey, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach, on a single CD. Ma's first recording of Bach's six Solo Suites, which went on to win the Grammy® for "Best Classical Instrumental Performance" and is represented here by the Sarabande from the Sixth Suite, took place in 1982. In the same year, Yo-Yo Ma recorded Bach's complete sonatas for viola da gamba with harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper which was hailed by Gramophone as "intelligent and expressive."
Sony Classical is proud to announce the release of Yo-Yo Ma’s new album Six Evolutions – Bach Cello Suites, his third and final recording of these works. Bach and his Cellos Suites entered Yo-Yo Ma’s life when he was four, when he learned the first measure of the Prélude to Suite No. 1 under his father’s instruction. Ma has never lost his initial fascination.
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. His passion for music and his virtuosity is unparalleled. Yes, I'm sure there are other equally-talented cellists out there, but I can't imagine anyone else surpassing him in conveying the musical cello experience to the listener.
APPALACHIA WALTZ brings together classical musicians and classic Americana with an enjoyable result: a discovery of the wealth and integrity of American folk music. Featuring classical virtuosi Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma with fiddler Mark O'Connor, a passionate advocate and composer of traditional Texas fiddle music, this Sony Classical release explores the vitality of American fiddle music in new compositions and arrangements, many by O'Connor himself.
The last time cellist Yo-Yo Ma teamed with bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolin player Chris Thile (of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers fame) for a classical/bluegrass hybrid, the result was the gold-selling Songs of Joy & Peace. Here, Ma, Meyer, and Thile are joined by fiddler Stuart Duncan in a different kind of string quartet.
One of the most obscure albums Covay cut, Funky Yo Yo slipped out in 1977 on the tiny Versatile label, with such little notice that it's even escaped getting listed in some discographies. It's a strange record, too, with production so sparse (and some dull muffle to the sound fidelity, though it's not a serious impediment) that one suspects these might be demos, or perhaps not even 1977 recordings. Yet in a way that very rootsy, stripped-down feel makes it appealing, particularly as it was appearing at a time when many fellow soul greats of Covay's generation were issuing bloated, hopeless attempts to jump on the disco bandwagon. Far from emulating Barry White, Covay sounds rather like Van Morrison on much of this material, though the similarity's probably coincidental. Particularly on the more bare-bones arrangements, these actually have a cool intimate feel, as if they're songwriter demos intended for pitches to '60s Atlantic recording artists.