Sony Classical Records released American composer John Williams and American cellist Yo-Yo Ma's new album, "A Gathering of Friends."
Together with the New York Philharmonic, Williams and Ma renew their celebrated decades of collaboration and friendship, with Williams at the podium himself. Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas and Chinese harpist Jessica Zhou are also featured on the album.
Williams and Ma first met about four decades ago, when the composer became conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra and Ma was at the beginnings of his career. Their personal connection led them to share the stage at the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama, and since then, their friendship is based on the fact that"music is our oxygen," as Williams describes it.
The crux of the album is Williams' newly revised version of his Cello Concerto for Ma. Originally recorded in 2001, over the last three decades, Williams made significant adjustments to the score. This incorporated structural changes that included a final movement that turned into "one glorious song, spinning and spinning, spinning to the very end."
Each work featured on this album connects to personal memories Williams and Ma shared as musical partners.
The other pieces include With Malice Toward None from Lincoln, A Prayer for Peace from Munich, and Three Pieces from Schindler's List.
To listen to and purchase this album, click here.