5 stars with reservations. BUYER BEWARE. I ordered the MP3 version of this album (October 2016). I am a long-time fan of Yo-Yo Ma. As for Ennio Morricone, I was a fan long before I knew his name. Two of the selections from the soundtrack to The Mission were included in another collection I have and I fell in love with the haunting melodies. I went searching for more and found this album. What a find – 2 great artists collaborating on an album that, like other reviewers, reduced me to tears in places because of the sheer beauty and imagination of the music. However…several of the numbers cut off abruptly and even in mid-note. Other reviewers made the same comment from as long ago as 9 years and obviously no one has bothered to fix the problem. The music alone is so worthwhile, but only if you are willing to bear the aggravation and frustration in the present format.
For many years I have been a great fan of both Yo-Yo Ma, and Ennio Morricone, and after reading the reviews, felt I must have this recording, which is truely wonderful! However, for me, the original works stood alone, with no need to reinvent the musical wheel. Having first heard them as soundtracks, and truely loving them as such, I went back to the original soundtrack recordings, all remastered, and felt I much preferred them in their movie soundtracks. How can any musical instrument replace the human voice in the main theme of Once Upon a Time in the West? It was the human voice that brought home the true sadness of the human behavior of the movie. Playing Love, from The Legend of 1900 was all about the piano, and 1900's only way to express himself, he wasn't a cellist. Maybe I would feel differently, had I not seen most all of the movies with Morricone soundtracks dozens of times, mostly for the soundtracks, always washed away by the emotion of the music. I always bought both the DVD, and the soundtrack CD. I give this 5 stars for the music, and 5 stars for the cello performance, both outstanding. I was just fine with the original, and don't see myself referring to these variations of the original.
The music is sublime! The Good The Bad and The Ugly: Ecstasy of Gold is so moving, my entire being goes into ecstasy - it is the perfect title!! I have several Cello recordings, from Yo-Yo Ma and other wonderful Cellists, and this is my absolute favourite of any recording. It makes me weep with joy, and loneliness, and longing for God... That is how moving it is!
And now for the downside... I originally purchased iTunes, and there were several glitches, where there were holes in the music (I don't know how else to describe it). I decided to buy the CD, and was so looking forward to playing it, but it is exactly the same. Did anyone else have this problem? I didn't think it was possible to have had the same experience from both iTunes AND the CD. I still gave it 5 stars, because how can I say I like something that I absolutely love, and that moves me to Divine rapture? But the little stop-starts in the music DO interrupt the ecstasy, so I feel a bit let down by the recording.
Yo-Yo Ma once sat with my grade school daughter while teaching and encouraging her fellow Minnesota Youth Symphony members tips on playing stringed instruments. It's a pinch or an inch finding the right notes, playing in tune. She thought him such a gentle man. Now an adult, she doesn't play her viola anymore but his kindness has left a lasting impression.
His work with Ennio Morricone is exquisite. This CD is sublime. One of my favorites!
This is the most emotional, beautifully written and performed music I've ever heard. Yo-Yo Ma is incredible! His expressive interpretations are beyond words, improving with time. With each passing year his performances go beyond the last. The combination of Ennio Morricones creative, romantic music and Yo-Yo is something not to miss. The tracks of Cinema Paradiso and The Mission are my favorites.
I previously had this CD. Loaned it to a son who seems to think he does not have it so had to buy it again. For anyone not familiar with the musical compositions of Ennio Morricone, this is a treat, especially with Yo-Yo Ma interpreting the scores of Morricone. The sound track music composed by Morricone cover such a wide spectrum that it is like a dinner with many courses. From the scores for the spaghetti westerns to the haunting score for "The Mission" and "Cinema Paradiso" it is possible to be transported into another time and space dimension. One of the theme songs from "The Mission" , "Gabriel's Oboe" has become a well known vocal song for Il Divo as "Nella Fantasia". The sound track score transports the listener to a time of floating in music. At an age of over 80 yrs, Morroconi is still composing and conducting. It is possible to see the influence of the Italian sensibility in his music-it might be difficult to see how his music relates to Clint Eastwood in the Spaghetti western movies, but Eastwood also composes music so he would also reflect the moods of transporting to another time and place in his music--possibly he was also influenced by Morriconi.
Although no one reveals the nuances and subtleties of Morricone's beguiling and compelling work better than Morricone himself when he directs ensembles playing his own compositions, his input into Ma's interpretation of the works has produced a wonderful collaboration. The only recording that is more enjoyable than Morricone 60 is this one of Yo-Yo Ma's interpretation of Morricone's works with Morricone's input of course.
Absolutely stunning collaboration! These are a collection of Morricone's most haunting and memorable movie melodies. But each has been reworked and feature the flawless playing of Yo-Yo Ma. Adding the lush and throaty cello tone makes these themes grow in majesty and emotion. But Yo-Yo Ma's prowess is also featured as he gingerly sings out high harmonic lines, as if floating above the orchestra.
This is a beautiful compilation sure to transport you momentarily into another world, to allow you to revisit classic movies in your mind, and to escape the hurried pace of life - as you sit back and crank up your stereo!
Most of my favorite music originated in the 1700s to early 1800s. That is all changed now because this CD will enter your mind and profoundly move you to a higher plane. It is perhaps the most beautiful music I have ever experienced. The collaboration that produced this wonderful music was meant to be. Do not wait make this music your own to enjoy when your soul needs nourishment.
I purchased the CD within the past two weeks and, contrary to a couple of the reviewers (I considered the source!) I found the marriage of Yo Yo Ma's playing of the Morricone scores to be provocative and yet not intrusive. The sensitivity of Yo Yo Ma's interpretation is on a par with the great screen scores of Morricone: the subtle nuances really enhanced the orchestral settings! Yo Yo Ma does not dominate but rather supplies an embroidery to the scores. Being a romanticist who is a composer/performer/conductor/arranger, I find the CD continues to thrill me after more than a dozen hearings. I still discover new and innovative things that compel me to listen again and again. I have recommended this CD to all of my friends/colleagues and associates.