Bach, Solo Cello Suites, Yo-Yo Ma
The Bach -- suites 1, 2, and 3 -- is much as I remember it from 2006: a consistently beautiful, carefully spun, rarely overblown, often straight tone; not disappointingly metronomic pacing, but little ostentatious rubato except some oozing and stretching in the sarabandes; some very intimate, small dances contrasted with more outgoing pieces, especially the preludes. Although he took all the repeats, Ma added basically zero ornamentation to any of this music, although he often gave the repeats a different articulation or dynamic. None of the movements felt rushed or even strikingly fast, even the gigues, but it was all thoughtful, musical, and measured.
Anne Midgette, Yo-Yo Ma and the Bach cello suites: Familiar, but certainly not routine (Washington Post, December 5)
Jane Cavalier, Yo-Yo Ma’s sold-out concert blends cultures, styles (The Dartmouth, September 14)
The next big event on the WPAS season is a recital by pianist Daniil Trifonov (January 19, 2 pm), in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.