I bought this CD really to try to compare this recording with the identical programme from Heinrich Schiff [which I have previously reviewed]. Schumann: Cello Concerto
Frankly to my ear this is not an easy task. At the outset i would have to say that these are both excellent recordings of some superb works of the romantic cello repertoire. Buy either and honestly you cant go wrong. Yo Yo Ma cant do much wrong in my book. That said I think I would put the Schiff ahead by a gnats whisker in all the pieces with the exception of the Cello Concerto. His playing has that more emotional languid feel which really does it for me. This may show in the longer times taken by Schiff on every piece with the exception of the Cello Concerto.
In this live [with what can only be described as an extremely quiet audience] recording its the Cello Concerto, with the Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis, that just comes over fuller and slightly better balanced but as with so much music, so many of these things are down to personal preference, not to mention the quality of our hearing! Interestingly, comparing the timings Yo Yo is slower in the Cello Concerto [25mins 37 sec] against Schiff on 22 min 07secs.
Overall then my advice is buy this record and enjoy it. At the price of the secondhand copies its definately worth buying the two and getting the best of all worlds.Sit back and enjoy.