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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe

Yo-Yo Ma

Nothing expresses the human soul as well as the strings of a violin or a cello.  When played by the expert hands of a virtuoso, the emotions bleed from the player, through the instrument, and into the heart of the listener.  When the player is as exceptional as Yo-Yo Ma is, the ensuing results can remain with the listener throughout their lives.  Call it a transfusion.

Sony has assembled a collection of previously recorded Yo-Yo Ma favourites that are in the romantic mode and added 4 new Yo-Yo Ma recordings to provide further value to the release.  Appassionato is that collection, designed with Valentine’s Day in mind but is much more than that.  It is an assembly of gorgeous tunes that include the timeless Ennio Morricone classic, “Nostalgia” from Cinema Paradiso, as well as Morricone’s haunting and heart-rending “Gabriel’s Oboe” from The Mission. Other tracks include John Williams’ “Going to School” from Memoirs of a Geisha, the melting “Winter” piece from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and the light romantic touch of “Doce De Coco” from Obrigado Brazil.

Although you’ve heard most of these in other albums before, these 15 excellent selections more than completely fill moments up with entrancing strings, at times accompanied by piano and woodwinds, Appassionato by Yo-Yo Ma is a soothing string (no pun intended) of music.  Put it on when you romance your wife or husband on Valentine’s Day…sparks could fly.

Release Date: January, 09 2007
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD

Track Listing:

Going to School (Live Version) / IV Allegretto poco mosso from Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano (Album Version) / II Andante con moto e poco rubato from Three Preludes (Album Version) / II Largo from "Winter", Op 8, No 4, RV 297 from The Four Seasons / Doce De Coco / II Largo from Concerto No 1 in G minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op 49 (Album Version) / Cinema Paradiso: Looking for You from Guiseppe Tornatore Suite / The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Chamber Version) / Yanzi (Swallow Song) (Album Version) / II Andante from Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra in A minor, Op 102 (Album Version) / Soledad (Album Version) / No 4 Mikin Pekko from Five Finnish Folk Songs (Album Version) / First Impressions (Instrumental) / Song Without Words, Op 109 (Album Version) / Gabriel's Oboe from The Mission (Excerpt).

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