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Expanded Edition - Simply Baroque / Yo-Yo Ma, Ton Koopman


Release Date: 09/30/2003 
Label:  Sony Classical Masterworks Catalog #: 90386   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLuigi Boccherini
Performer:  Yo-Yo MaTon Koopman
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

My heart sank when I saw this CD, but my spirits soared as soon as I played it. Sony’s title ‘Simply Baroque’ suggests yet another addition to the stacks of mediocre baroque-music compilations that are currently flooding the CD market. And yet had I stopped to think for a moment or two longer, I probably would have sussed that neither Yo-Yo Ma nor Ton Koopman would be likely to collaborate for a mere ‘greatest hits’ CD – and certainly not for a custom-built new recording. In fact, the musically appealing end product is also extremely imaginative: nine movements from Bach sensitively arranged for cello and chamber orchestra, plus an attractive pair of Boccherini cello concertos. Ma’s Stradivarius was altered for the occasion by luthier Read more Charles Beare (using a baroque bridge, a tail-piece in place of an end-pin and gut strings), and Ma himself uses a baroque bow. As superior ‘light’ listening goes, I cannot conceive of a happier 70 minutes’ worth. It also provides an ideal ‘soft-option’ introduction to the sound of period instruments.

The St Matthew Passion’s ‘Erbarme dich’ might seem like a bizarre place to start, and yet Bach’s heart-rending aria becomes a cleverly worked duet for violin and cello, always flowing and discreet, aided by responsive strings and a tactile lute continuo. Koopman’s harpsichord brushes Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring into action with a flourish, answered by a mellifluous mix of solo cello, strings and winds. The sequence had opened in high spirits with ‘Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren’, and the brief but equally invigorating ‘Ertot’ uns durch dein’ Gute’ is placed fourth. Ma weaves a warming tenor line through ‘Ich ruf’ zu dir’, with lute and organ for company, then lightens the mood with a dancing ‘Kommst du nun, Jesu, von Himmel herunter’ (note Charles Toet’s beautifully played solo trombone). Bassoon and cello join forces for a swaggering ‘Lass mein Herz die Munze sein’, before the brief chorale ‘Dein Blut, der edle Saft’ (decorously embellished by a recorder). Last comes the inevitable ‘Air’ from the Third Orchestral Suite, as ‘simply baroque’ as you are likely to get, but tellingly arranged (as a duet for cellos) and superbly played. In fact, Koopman’s ‘second’ cello – his lead cellist Jaap ter Linden – is every bit as eloquent as the star act.

My own first live encounter with Ma was at a rehearsal for one of Haydn’s cello concertos, and listening to the two Boccherini works on this marvellous CD reminded again me of his uncanny technical facility, at once elegant and unselfconsciously virtuosic. Ton Koopman provides the cadenzas and the performances are pure delight – but if you want to sample first, then try the D major Concerto’s first movement. ‘Simply Baroque’, I think not; ‘Simply Ma … or Koopman’, is nearer, but not quite. How about ‘Simply listen’? I’d second that.

-- Gramophone [5/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, BWV 167: Sei Lob nd Preis mit Ehren by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
2.
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 7 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
3.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
4.
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22: no 5, Ertöt uns durch dein Güte, erweck uns durch dein Gnad by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
5.
Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
6.
Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 6, Kommst du nun, Jesu, BWV 650 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
7.
Nur jedem das Seine, BWV 163: Lass mein Herz die Münze sein by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1715; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
8.
Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz, BWV 136: Dein Blut, der edle Saft by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 0 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
9.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Ton Koopman 
10.
Concerto for Cello in G major, G 480 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 17 Minutes 34 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Cello in D major, G 478 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Harpsichord), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1536 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 23 Minutes 8 Secs. 
12.
Die Elenden sollen essen, dass sie satt werden, BWV 75: no 7, Was Gott tutt, das ist wohlgetan by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Ton Koopman (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
13.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Theme "Aria" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ton Koopman (Organ), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741-1742; Nuremberg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
14.
Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 1, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Ton Koopman (Organ)
Conductor:  Ton Koopman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1998 
Venue:  Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherland 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren, BWV 167
Erbarme dich (Matthäus-Passion), BWV 244
Jesus, bleibet meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring), BWV 147
Ertöt' uns durch dein' Güte, BWV 22
Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650
Laß mein Herz die Münze sein, BWV 163
Dein Blut, der edle Saft, BWV 136
"Air" (Suite III), BWV 1068
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Larghetto
III. Rondo
IV. Rondo comodo assai
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 75
Aria from "Goldberg Variations," BWV 988
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake), BWV 645

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