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Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach Series
The Music Garden
Yo-Yo Ma with Julie Moir Messervy

An exploration of Bach's music as interpreted through gardening.

A printer-friendly version of this page 57 minutes
Directed by Kevin McMahon
Produced by Niv Fichman, Rhombus Media

The Music Garden is an exploration of music as interpreted through gardening on a grand scale. The film follows the efforts of Yo-Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy to create a formal garden, based on J. S. Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello, in the center of Boston. Woven throughout this unusual enterprise is a performance of the suite by Yo-Yo Ma, accompanied by special effects that bring the dream of the garden to life.

Other titles in the series are:

The Sound of the Carceri with Piranesi - Yo-Yo Ma performs Bach in a virtual prison designed by Piranesi.

Falling Down Stairs with Mark Morris - Bach's 3rd Suite for Cello interpreted through dance.

Sarabande with Atom Egoyan - Feature film maker Atom Egoyan weaves a tale inspired by Bach's 4th Cello Suite.

Struggle for Hope with Tamasaburo Bando - Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando interprets Bach.

Six Gestures with Torvill and Dean - Ice dancers Torvill and Dean interpret Bach's Suite No. 6.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1998     Copyright Date: 1997
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-286-1     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-733-6

"Excellent footage and astute editing link the various old dance forms of Bach's music to sheltering forests, winding paths, and other aspects of the landscape...Yo-Yo Ma's creative concept, Messervy's enthusiastic vision, and the tough realities pulling at the actualization of an unusual project are deftly visualized in this striking production."

" Bach in some stunningly photographed garden sequences."

"Bach (is) presented as many have long viewed him - as godly as nature itself"
Toronto Life

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The Music Garden

"An unusual project...deftly visualized in this striking production." Booklist

Awards and Festivals
Best Photography & Best Sound, Gemini Awards
Best Documentary Cinematography, Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards
Starred Review, Booklist
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

American Government
Canadian Studies
Garden Design
Landscape Architecture
Performing Arts
Social Psychology

Related Titles

Tokyo Waltz
Appalachia Waltz at Suntory Hall in Japan.

Hong Kong Symphony
Tan Dun's "Symphony 1997" premieres as Hong Kong switches from British to Chinese rule.

Cello Concerto by Robert Schumann
Steven Isserlis performs one of Schumann's greatest works.

Reclaiming Community
Communities in Toronto and Oakland take back and revitalize public spaces.

The Secret World of Gardens
13-part series providing a close-up look at the complex ecosystem that is the backyard garden.

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