The Ecstasy of GoldPosted on 2013.02.26 at 00:00
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As someone who listens to a lot of classical music, I've been a fan of Yo-Yo Ma for some time. So you can imagine my glee when I discovered he soloed on Tan Dun's score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I have many CDs of him, from covering Bach to dueting with Bobby McFerrin of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" infamy. He's was also featured on John Williams score to Seven Years in Tibet. suzanne1945 bought an album awhile back I probably would have skipped, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a bluegrassy twangy thing which turned out to be an unexpectedly delightful listen.
Having the propensity to hedonisticly immerse myself in anything I find even remotely pleasurable, I started combing my own collection of music where I discovered in my iTunes database, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone in which there was a skin-tingling version of The Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Not only possibly the best version I have ever heard, but also a stirring mix of East and West as Yo-Yo's cello hearkens wuxia in his opening notes.
In the movie Free Enterprise William Shatner (playing himself) announces that he is writing a musical version of Julius Cesar in which he will portray all characters (and can be seen rapping Mark Antony's monologue here). I bring this up because in Yo-Yo Ma's rendition of The Ecstasy of Gold he seemingly does the same with his cello, from the rhythm to the haunting choral; playing all the parts himself.
And it moves me.