Scott D. Paulin
August 01, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It may be a middlebrow cocktail-party soundtrack, but Ma’s Brazilian journey has an integrity rare in classical crossover. The cellist ventures an appealingly diverse program, from Villa-Lobos’ classical elegance to Jobim’s bossa nova, but wisely avoids any ”Girl From Ipanema” cliches. His stellar collaborators lend an authentic flair, and even if his refined tone promotes a gentility over passion, the end results are reliably enchanting.

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