Editors’ Notes Yo-Yo Ma enjoyed so much well-deserved success early on that by his mid-30s he was able to start exploring in earnest music outside the European Classical canon. His Essential collection is helpfully divided into a classical first half (or side one) and a crossover part (or side two). Familiar favorites from Bach (“Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello,” “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”) and Vivaldi (the Largo movement from his Concerto in F minor) open the album, followed by selections by composers from the Romantic (Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Dvořák, Saint-Saëns, Massenet) and contemporary (Shostakovich, Kreisler, Gershwin) eras. Beyond that, Ma’s latter-day explorations of Brazilian and Chinese traditions—as well as bluegrass, jazz, standards from The Great American Songbook, and soundtrack music—have been curated here. Highlights include “Simple Gifts,” performed as a lovely duet with vocalist Alison Krauss, and a jaunty reading of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”

1
2:19
 
2
1:46
 
3
2:42
 
4
3:37
 
5
3:48
 
6
3:08
 
8:50
 
8
5:48
 
3:11
 
10
1:43
 
11
6:26
 
12
4:25
 
8:21
 
14
8:04
 
15
12:50
 
2:50
 
3:11
 
6
4:20
 
4:46
 
9
2:34
 
2:31
 
3:11
 
13
3:01
 
14
6:57
 
3:51
 
18
4:25
 
20
3:43
 

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