Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble – When Strangers Meet (2002) [SACD to FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble – When Strangers Meet (2002) 
PS3 Rip | FLAC tracks 2.0 24bit/88.2 kHz | Front+CD | 1.38 GB

This disc introduces Yo-Yo Ma’s latest and most ambitious adventure, the Silk Road Project. It explores the cultures that flourished along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route that for centuries connected Europe and the East. Founded by Ma in 1998, the project aims to create connections, mutual trust, and cultural interchange between people from different parts of the world through their only shared language: music. This recording includes music from Mongolia, China, Persia, Japan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and an improvisation on an Italian Renaissance street song, performed by musicians from all those countries, as well as America, on both Eastern and Western instruments. Ma, who participates in every piece either as soloist or part of the ensemble, plays cello and a Mongolian “horse-head fiddle.” There is also a Mongolian soprano, who sings a traditional song native to her region. For the uninitiated Western listener, the music requires some getting used to. Much of it is based on rhythmic ostinatos. The melodies use Oriental scales; the intonation is untempered; the music seems all color, texture, and atmosphere, without what might be called themes; and repetition takes the place of development. Contrast is achieved through sudden change, buildup by adding instruments. However, the music is often beautiful, delicate, dreamy, or peaceful; every listener will find his or her own favorite pieces. The playing is splendid, with much inventive improvisation. Inevitably, Ma’s tone and personality stand out, but he never dominates in fact or spirit. The booklet offers essays by Ma and the project’s musicologist, Theodore Levin, photographs of the players, and drawings of the Eastern instruments.

01. Mongolian Traditional Long song (1:29)
02. Legend of Herlen (11:20)
03. Blue Little Flower (4:24)
04. Mido Mountain (3:53)
05. Moon Over Guan Mountains
06. Finnish Folksongs (5), for cello & piano: No. 3, Miero vuotti uutta kuuta (1:58)
07. Finnish Folksongs (5), for cello & piano: No. 5, Joiku (2:27)
08. Avaz-e Dashti (6:04)
09. Habil-Sajahy for cello & prepared piano (13:27)
10. Blue As the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur (15:36)
11. Chi passa per ‘sta strada, for voices, lutes & violin (4:45)
12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, film score: Desert Capriccio (1:34)