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.
“Bach’s Cello Suites have been my constant musical companions,” Ma writes of the music. “For almost six decades, they have given me sustenance, comfort and joy during times of stress, celebration and loss. What power does this music possess that even today, after three hundred years, it continues to help us navigate through troubled times?”
Ma isRead more more convinced than ever of the suites’ ability to create shared meaning that extends far beyond the here and now. The suites’ collective vision – at once divergent and coherent, empathic and objective – reminds us of all that connects us despite an increasingly discordant public conversation.
The August release of Six Evolutions also signals the beginning of a two-year, six-continent journey in which Yo-Yo Ma will devote himself to Bach’s music, playing all six Cello Suites in a single setting in familiar and unlikely locations.
Six Evolutions – Bach: Cello Suites will not only offer an essential encapsulation of what this music means now to one of the world’s most celebrated artists, it begins a new chapter in the cellist’s 58-year relationship with this music.
His capacity for soaring seems limitless, his ability to minutely alter dynamics and tempos at the least prompting and the joy of his lilting rhythms are inspirational. I don’t think he has ever made a greater recording and his personal booklet notes help provide a conceptual setting for his playing.
Yo-Yo Mas last and greatest Bach Cello SuitesSeptember 27, 2018By Scott Freije (Los Angeles, CA)See All My Reviews"This is a definitive recording in a crowded and highly competitive field for the greatest music written for cello. I am a big fan of Yo-Yo Ma and his advocacy for classical music as well as cultural exchange. His previous two recordings of this work had not measured up to the greats, like Steven Isserlis performance. The first was technically immaculate if a touch impersonal. His second was more evolved but some of the choices seemed mannered and not quite a congealed into a flowing new perspective on the piece. After living with the music for many decades and performing these works all over the world, Ma creates a masterful recording that rivals the very best. You can tell this music is in his bones, his heart and head united and fully committed to conveying every emotion and color. This isnt concerned with being historically informed or tied to any performance practice except how Ma personally connects to the music, giving us direct, honest, individualistic playing from a master artist at the height of his creative prowess. Fans of any music, Ma, and Bach should listen to this without reservation no matter how many recordings of the Cello Suites you already own. This is an important recording and the greatest classical recording I have heard this year."Report Abuse
A performance for the agesAugust 27, 2018By Howard H. (Houston, TX)See All My Reviews"This recording is amazing in every way. Very aptly named Evolutions, it is surely not a performance that an uninitiated listener should first hear, having no way to compare it to other, very fine but much more straightforward interpretations. This is Ma's personal statement, something he has developed over decades and that undoubtedly changes from day to day. What an superlative musician! In his hands, the cello ceases being a material instrument and transforms into something ethereal. For myself, only Bach's exuberant movements should be played as if for others, most should be played for the performer's own satisfaction, as if no one else were in the room. Ma's playing is this kind of interior expression, and the recording engineer obliges by seating us right next to him. It's an experience I look forward to having many times over the next decades, just as others will over the next 300 years."Report Abuse