Top 10 Classical/Pops Collaborations: #9 – “Tan Dun & Yo-Yo Ma”

Classical/Pops Editorial Team Collaborations

The ancient orchestral sounds of the Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon come together to form one of the most vivid scores in cinematic history. The soundtrack features world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the 17-time Grammy winner and 2010 Medal of Freedom recipient, who is considered to be one of the greatest classical performers of our time. Thanks in part to the collaborative vision of film director Ang Lee and composer Tan Dun, the score embodies the meeting of two musical cultures, a hybrid of traditional Far East mysticism and classical Western formalism. The auspicious influence of the film’s music explores the way in which a classical Western orchestra can generate music that is neither wholly classical nor Western.

While Tan Dun spent over two years composing the music, the ten days of recording enabled superstar Yo-Yo Ma to infuse the language of the cello into the ritual of the quintessential Asian genre of martial arts cinema. Introducing Chinese classical expression to the popular audience, the soundtrack had a wonderful way of expressing the inner life and culture of a people and certainly broadened appreciation for this style of music around the globe.