On November 5, 2004, world-renouned cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra to play the music of film composer Ennio Morricone. Conducted by Ennio's son Andrea Morricone, the pieces performed were taken from the Sony Classical album "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone". After an introductory video showing Ennio recording the album (which was truly inspiring to see), Andrea and Yo-Yo took the stage, and played a good portion of the album. While the student orchestra didn't have as much "passion" as Ma had when playing, it was still a rather good performance. By far the best moment was at the end of the "Sergio Leone Suite" when they played "Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I wish they had performed music from "The Brian DePalma Suite", but I suppose they had to limit the content performed.

Photo Credit: John Sciulli/WireImage.com

They also showed four short films by USC film school students, set to four of the pieces. I wasn't too impressed with them, as they were abstract, but it was interesting to see how upcoming filmmakers would interpret Morricone's older works. These films will be available early next year when Sony Classical releases the album as a DualDisc, with one side being the CD content, and the other side being a DVD including special features as well as the album in enhanced sound. Overll, the concert - although relatively short - was a great opportunity to see Yo-Yo Ma and hear Ennio Morricone's music performed live. The album is certainly one of the best re-recordings of the year so far, and we strongly urge you to pick it up!

Special thanks to Susan Schiffer at Sony Classical