Yo-Yo Ma

Simply Baroque II

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This is a charming, lovely, beautiful, even adorable recording -- just as charming and adorable as Yo-Yo Ma's previous "Simply Baroque" recording. Suffice it to say, if you liked the first you'll love the second. It offers more beautiful tunes by Bach and gorgeous concertos by Boccherini performed with exquisite taste and musicianship by the world's best-loved cellist, accompanied by Ton Koopman, one the world's greatest Bach interpreters, and recorded in warm, atmospheric sound.

That having been said, those alert to deeper essences may find the recording tepid and saccharine. Yo-Yo Ma may indeed be the world's best-loved cellist, but his playing can be superficial and bland. For this reviewer, Ma never gets beneath the skin of the pitches -- never gets below the web of notes -- to find the soul of the music. Instead, he seems satisfied with surface beauty.

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