Stories » Musical fellowship at Wolf Trap with Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble / Washington Post review

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Musical fellowship at Wolf Trap with Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble / Washington Post review

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There was a roar Thursday that even the evening's muggy heat couldn't dampen as cellist Yo-Yo Ma walked onto the stage as almost an afterthought following the other 16 members of his Silk Road Ensemble. And this excitement bristled throughout the 2½ hours of a musical fellowship at Wolf Trap that wove the sounds and idioms of East and West, tradition and innovation, into a compellingly upbeat program (much of which is available on their new CD, "Sing Me Home").

There were the cheers that greeted splendid clarinetist Kinan Azmeh's wildly celebratory "Wedding," an evocation of a party in a small Syrian village, in fact, that erupted at even the mention of Syrian musicians. There were giggles of laughter as Cristina Pato, wielding her gaita (a Galician bagpipe), and Wu Tong with his suona (a sort of Chinese oboe), tried to outdo each other in competitive virtuosity, and when Wu Man performed miracles of dexterous athleticism on her amplified pipa (a Chinese lute). And there were gasps of appreciation as a percussion section rooted in the Indian, Arabic, African and Asian worlds collaborated in almost irresistible complexity.

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