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Yo-Yo Ma's Backward Cello Bash / The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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The Tanglewood parking attendants were busy early on August 13th considering that the concert to take place at 8pm was chamber music in Ozawa Hall. There was a wine tasting going on, so perhaps the early crowds were not anticipated solely for the music. Who knows for sure? The program featured one of the world's most popular classical artists, Yo-Yo Ma, along with a group of other cellists, for an unusual program billed only as "A Distant Mirror." The minimal description in the Tanglewood brochure suggested that it would in some sense consist of early music, without details beyond a focus on the 16thand 17th centuries. The title could have implied Barbara Tuchman's 14thcentury, but the performers chose it to mean only long ago and far away.

Over the decades Yo-Yo Ma not only has become a favorite performer of the cello but has extended his activities beyond chamber music and concertos, with extraordinary breadth, as if to see what usage could be made of the cello in just about every aspect of the world's musics, from Appalachia to the Silk Trail. Clearly audiences have learned to trust him to offer music superbly played, with the exquisite technique, expressive warmth, and sheer joy that have always been so prominent a part of his persona. Even with only a vague idea of what they will hear, audiences throng. Ozawa Hall was packed, and the lawn outside the rear barn door held as many people as I have ever seen there.  READ THE FULL Boston Musical Intelligencer ARTICLE