Stories » Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott play London's Wigmore Hall / The Telegraph review

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Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott play London's Wigmore Hall / The Telegraph review

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Yo-Yo Ma is the cello's superstar. He's taken this inherently grave and introverted instrument and made it a vehicle for his outsize personality. In doing do he's had to wrench the cello out of its normal habitat. He appears alongside world music and pop musicians, and plays in unusual spaces, often for vast audiences. All this has made him the ideal proselytiser for classical music.

This is admirable, but there were times at this recital when it seemed as if the cello's sound and expressive range simply weren't big enough for Ma. Everything was etched in vivid colours and shaped in an unusual, ear-catching way, even the straightforwardly cheerful phrase that opened the first piece in his programme, Stravinsky's Suite Italienne. It was a bit much, especially in comparison with the excellent Kathryn Stott at the piano. She brought out the spicy, balletically energised dissonance of the score, and made the fiendishly hard Tarantella dance with light-fingered grace. The difference is that Stott put herself at the service of the music – one was hardly aware of her, whereas Ma always seized the eye. READ THE FULL Telegraph REVIEW