Sony Masterworks marks Ma’s 30 years with the label with $789 box set

Posted on: September 28, 2009

In Sunday’s (9/27) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes about a new Yo-Yo Ma boxed set. “Classical music box sets have been bounding into the market in recent years like a rain of bowling balls. Deutsche Grammophon last year issued a 38-disc set of Herbert von Karajan and this year has a 55-CD set to mark its 111th birthday (let’s hear it for odd-numbered anniversaries!). Brilliant Classics has issued hefty doorstops of the complete Mozart (170 CDs) and Bach (155 CDs). … The Ma release is a mere 90 discs. But it is remarkable for other reasons. First, Mr. Ma is still very much alive and in no need of posthumous commemoration. … The lavish packaging, with a 312-page hard-bound booklet, velvet lining and Annie Leibovitz portrait, is at odds with Mr. Ma’s down-to-earth style. Most striking is the list price: $789. … The release date is Oct. 27, but buyers can order ahead of time through Mr. Ma’s Web site,, and the first 200 will receive a note and glossy photograph signed by the cellist (a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,’ the site says).”

Posted September 28, 2009