Sony Music is proud to announce the worldwide release of Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box, a deluxe box set of Yo-Yo Ma's recorded legacy. This elaborate, numbered, limited-edition box will celebrate Yo-Yo Ma's 30th Anniversary with the label. Created with the full participation of Yo-Yo Ma, 30 Years Outside the Box, is the definitive collection of this iconic artist in a presentation as beautiful and timeless as the music itself.
This 20-disc box set has been entertaining me for several months. Dutch pianist Ivo Janssen set up his own record label to distribute his 1997 Goldberg Variations, recorded on the hoof over two days in Haarlem. Its success prompted him to tackle Bach’s complete keyboard output. And there’s a sense of fly-by-night impetuosity about some of these performances, all taped in the same venue with the same producer, the cycle finally finished in 2009.
The first image shown, of a lovely Baroque Church nestled amongst snow covered hills and pine trees, will grab you. The interior of the Collegiate Church at Waldhausen in Austria, where this recording was made between Summer and Autumn in 1981, will finish you off. It is lovingly bedecked in traditional Baroque Christmas ornamentation under a high barrel-vaulted roof, the interior including eight side chapels and an achingly beautiful decorated chancel. If you aren't filled with the traditional Christmas spirit after this display, you never will be.
The Goat Rodeo Sessions is an ambitious and groundbreaking project that brings together four string virtuosos: world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile. While each artist is a prominent figure in his own music sphere, they have come together as a unified ensemble on a most remarkable and organic cross-genre project. The music, including two tracks with female vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, feels both new and familiar it's composed and improvised, uptown and down home, funky and pastoral and above all, uniquely American.
"Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach" is one of several titles in Sony's new "Music For You" Series, easily identified by their artsy, photographic covers. The material on this CD has been available previously on CBS Masterworks. True, Ma does play music by Bach, but it is sonatas (originally intended for viola da gamba and not cello) by Bach, and the Sinfonia Concertante by Bach's youngest son, Johann Christian Bach. Not that Sony is lying and not that most people will care or feel cheated, but since this title is obviously aimed at classical novices, I just thought I'd set the record straight. In a similar vein, hopefully those that discover both Bach and Yo-Yo Ma via this disc will like what they hear, and go on to get one of Ma's two recordings of the Bach "Cello Suites" – the real yardstick for composer and performer alike. ~Amazon
The Well-Tempered Clavier (Das Wohltemperirte Clavier in the original German title), BWV 846–893, is a collection of solo keyboard music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He first gave the title to a book of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, dated 1722, composed "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study." Bach later compiled a second book of the same kind, dated 1742, but titled it only "Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues." The two works are now usually considered to comprise The Well-Tempered Clavier and are referred to respectively as Books I and II. The Well-Tempered Clavier is generally regarded as one of the most influential works in the history of Western classical music...
Any new compilation CD starring Yo-Yo Ma is certain to please. This master of the cello takes the listener through so many types of music that the ear and mind never tire. The present selection is billed as a sort of "musical autobiography," and, indeed, it gives us a tour of Ma's musical life. The Silk Road Project is represented by Zhao's "Swallow Song," with its eerie, fascinating soundscape (specially re-recorded for this CD). We also accompany Ma on his excursions into the world of the baroque cello with Vivaldi or of the Finnish folk song (by Mamiya, a first recording). There are Gershwin's languid Second Prelude, with its intimations of the song "Summertime," and an all-new recording of a nine-minute heart-breaker by Astor Piazzolla ("Soledad"). Ma also gives us more familiar Brahms, Franck, and Saint-Saens. The compilation's mellow 65 minutes offer relaxing, beautiful music, all exquisitely played. Ma is joined by the best: Emanuel Ax, Kathryn Stott, John Williams (who plays piano on his own "Going to School" from Memoirs of a Geisha), Isaac Stern, and Claudio Abbado. This is a veritable Who's Who of superb musicians.
This recording, made in 1969, presents Ricther's chorus of 80 and orchestra using modern instruments, considered truer to Bach's spirit at this time than the large-orchestra oratorio style It is great to see a large chorus of everyday citizen singing Bach with such fervor. Filmed in the lovely baroque-style Klosterkirche in Diessen, about 25 miles southwest of Munich, this is a wonderful representation of Richter and Bach.