New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma renew their celebrated, decades-long collaboration and friendship with A Gathering of Friends, an all-new recording from Sony Classical set for release on May 20, 2022 and available now for preorder. The album is comprised of two acclaimed concert works the composer wrote for the cellist, plus selections from his film scores for Schindler's List, Lincoln, and Munich. Featuring Williams himself conducting the New York Philharmonic, A Gathering of Friends
also includes special appearances by the Spanish guitarist Pablo
Sáinz-Villegas and harpist Jessica
Zhou. Accompanying today's album announcement is the first track release, Theme from Schindler's List along with a visualizer featuring John Williams
and Yo-Yo Ma discussing the poignant theme - WATCH HERE.
and Yo-Yo Ma first met some four decades ago, when the Oscar-winning composer became conductor of the Boston
Pops Orchestra and Ma was just beginning his remarkable solo career. Their creative collaboration has extended from the concert hall to the scoring stage to the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama, all anchored by an abiding personal connection and mutual regard. From their first encounters, each recognized in the other an understanding that, as Williams simply puts it, "music is our oxygen."
The centerpiece of A Gathering of Friends
is the first recording of Williams' newly revised version of his Cello Concerto, a work composed for Ma in 1994 and originally recorded for Sony Classical in 2001. As the four-movement concerto was performed over the last three decades, Williams made significant revisions to the score. Ma noted that the new version incorporates even "bigger changes, structural changes," with a final movement that turns into "one glorious song, spinning and spinning, spinning to the very end."
Also heard on A Gathering of Friends
are new arrangements Williams created for Ma of three selections from his Oscar-winning score for Schindler's List and a new arrangement for cello and strings of "With Malice Toward None" from his score for the 2012 film Lincoln. The album concludes with a duo arrangement for Ma and guitarist Pablo
Sáinz-Villegas of "Prayer for Peace" from the 2005 film Munich. All three film scores are part of Williams' enduring partnership with director Steven Spielberg.
The other concert work on A Gathering of Friends
- Highwood's Ghost
- reaffirms the Williams-Ma friendship in the context of the Tanglewood Music
Festival and in the spirit of the legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. Williams composed the work to celebrate the Bernstein centennial at Tanglewood in the summer of 2018, evoking the legend of a ghost said to haunt the Highwood Manor House on the Tanglewood grounds - a ghost that Bernstein memorably encountered. Williams wrote haunting solo roles for Ma and the Boston
Symphony Orchestra's principal harp, Jessica
Zhou, who reunite for this recording with the New York Philharmonic.
JOHN WILLIAMS, YO-YO MA, NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC - A GATHERING OF FRIENDS
Cello Concerto (2021 Revision)
1 I. Theme & Cadenza
2 II. Blues
3 III. Scherzo
4 IV. Song
Three Pieces from Schindler's List
5 I. Theme
6 II. Kraków Ghetto - Winter '41
7 III. Remembrances
8 Highwood's Ghost
9 With Malice Toward None from Lincoln
10 A Prayer for Peace from Munich
Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, Milan Records, XXIM Records, and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.sonymusicmasterworks.com/.