Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Yo-Yo Ma

  • Classic Yo-Yo [Sony Classical, 2001] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Classic Yo-Yo [Sony Classical, 2001]
Ever since I encountered Ma (on Sesame Street, since you ask), he's been my classical crossover guy of choice. His freedom from smarmy noblesse oblige is typified by his approach to repertoire--he accords bluegrass and tango the same modest respect he does Bach and Tan Dun, never showboating for some ill-imagined gallery. Master tunesmith Bach gets three tracks on this subtly sequenced best-of, New York-raised Astor Piazzolla and bluegrass crossover guy Mark O'Connor two apiece, and even the John Williams ringer sounds OK when Ma is adoring the melody on his rhymes-with-mellow, although the orchestration is to barf at. This is the best of the European humanism the classical elite so often falsifies, reifies, and wills to power--not just beautiful and reassuring, useful attributes these days, but tolerant, curious, democratic. Just like me for giving it a shot. A-