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Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott: Songs from the Arc of Life - Works for Cello & Piano by Bach/Gounod, Brahms, Dvorák, Fauré, Sibelius, Debussy et al. / Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Kathryn Stott, piano

Album Summary

>Gounod, Charles : Ave Maria
>Brahms, Johannes : Songs (5) for voice & piano, Op. 49
>Dvorak, Antonin : Gypsy Songs, Op. 55
>Fauré, Gabriel : Papillon, for cello & piano, Op. 77
>Gade, Jacob : Jalousie (Jealousy), tango for orchestra
>Schumann, Robert : Five Pieces in the Popular Style, Op. 102
>Sibelius, Jean : Was it a dream? (Var det en dröm), song for voice & piano, Op. 37/4
>Fauré, Gabriel : Après un rêve ("Dans un sommeil"), song for voice & piano, Op. 7/1
>Elgar, Edward : Salut d'amour
>Gershwin, George : Three Preludes
>Delius, Frederick : Romance, for cello & piano, RT viii/5
>Kreisler, Fritz : La Gitana
>Sollima, Giovanni : Il bell'Antonio, television film score
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
>Grieg, Edvard : Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 51
>Messiaen, Olivier : Quartet for the End of Time
>Debussy, Claude : Beau soir ("Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses"), song for voice & piano, L. 6
>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma's first classical repertoire album in five years. Yo-Yo has been collaborating with pianist Kathryn Stott for thirty years. Television appearances already confirmed. AARP and Mother Jones Magazine features confirmed. Yo-Yo Ma has won 18 Grammy Awardsģ and sold over 7 million albums in the U.S. Touring the U.S. in the fall and winter 2015 and spring of 2016.

A life is an arc of experience, from beginning to end and all the notes in between. The new album, Songs from the Arc of Life, is a musical journey shared by Yo- Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, and a window into our universal adventure through life and time.

Longtime friends, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott, create a unique classical music experience with their new recording, Songs from the Arc of Life. The album includes pieces they have frequently performed but never recorded, as well as a handful of discoveries. Songs from the Arc of Life begins and ends with two, much-beloved settings of the traditional "Ave Maria," opening with the soaring, radiant Bach/Gounod arrangement and closing with Schubert's more serene, contemplative version. In between is a remarkable spectrum of music that includes such enduring favorites as Brahms' "Lullaby," DvorŠk's "Songs My Mother Taught Me," Elgar's "Salut d'amour," Gade's "Tango Jalousie" and Saint-SaŽns' "The Swan," as well as richly evocative works by Debussy, Delius, Faurť, Gershwin, Grieg, Kreisler, Messiaen, Schumann, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. Ma and Stott also include a haunting piece by the contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima, a friend and colleague of both artists. Songs from the Arc of Life is also available on 180-Gram vinyl.

Yo-Yo Ma is undeniably the most iconic classical artist of our time. Winner of 18 Grammyģ Awards, Yo-Yo Ma has sold over 7 million albums in the U.S. His 2008 album Songs of Joy & Peace is certified Gold, and his last album, 2011's Goat Rodeo Sessions, has sold over 200,000 albums.

The Observer, 27th September 2015
This is warm, engaged, vital music making by two of the finest musicians around.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
Ma's sound in this album has a rather lived-in quality, golden allure replaced by gritty articulacy. Physical exertion and goal-driven intensity give way to nonchalant calm. This works in a beautifully sustained 'Louange a l'eternite de Jesus' from Messiaen's famous quartet.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2015
Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott take us on a musical journey through life that also celebrates their 30-year musical friendship... [by the end] you realise that the title of the disc is utterly apt: this is a meditation on life, not a bag of musical pick'n'mix... the recording is wonderfully immediate, as is the conversation between the artists in the booklet.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-).

Here's a recording that amply demonstrates why Yo-Yo Ma has reached perhaps a wider public than any other serious classical musician. Over the course of his career he has vastly expanded the classical repertory while still staying true to its core. There has been a profound idealism, a high-mindedness, to what he does, combined with an ability to reach ordinary listeners that the greats of the past often mastered, but that is a rare commodity these days. He has rarely recorded short crowd-pleasers and it is typical of his genius that now, when he does so, he does it in an entirely compelling way. The core of the program consists of well-loved classical tunes, including one of the best-loved of all, the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria. But Ma varies the concept in two ways. The first has to do with the explicit program, depicting the "arc of life." The pieces proceed from childhood to youth, adulthood, and finally "beau soir" and death, and the whole thing is nicely explored in the notes in the form of a conversation between Ma and his longtime accompanist Kathryn Stott. They make these rather generic pieces seem like the most personal thing in the world. Then, on top of this, Ma and Stott pick some pieces that aren't common encores at all, such as the "Louange à l'éternité de Jésus," from the Quartet for the end of time. These are exceptionally well chosen to modulate the moods of the arc of life, and by the final group of pieces even the skeptical may well find themselves hypnotized. Throw in superb sound from perhaps the premier American recording venue, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, and you have an exceptional package that should rightly put Ma and Stott back at the top of the charts. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Gounod, Charles : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Brahms, Johannes : Songs (5) for voice & piano, Op. 49 :: Wiegenlied, Op. 49/4
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1868

>Dvorak, Antonin : Gypsy Songs, Op. 55
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal

>Fauré, Gabriel : Papillon, for cello & piano, Op. 77
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>Gade, Jacob : Jalousie (Jealousy), tango for orchestra
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1925

>Schumann, Robert : Five Pieces in the Popular Style, Op. 102 :: 1. Vanitas vanitatum
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1849

>Sibelius, Jean : Was it a dream? (Var det en dröm), song for voice & piano, Op. 37/4
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1902

>Fauré, Gabriel : Après un rêve ("Dans un sommeil"), song for voice & piano, Op. 7/1
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1877

>Elgar, Edward : Salut d'amour
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1888

>Gershwin, George : Three Preludes :: Prelude no 1
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1926

>Delius, Frederick : Romance, for cello & piano, RT viii/5
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1896

>Kreisler, Fritz : La Gitana
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: by 05/1919

>Sollima, Giovanni : Il bell'Antonio, television film score
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 2005

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Carnival of the animals
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Grieg, Edvard : Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34 :: no 1The Wounded Heart
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 51
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1882

>Messiaen, Olivier : Quartet for the End of Time :: Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1940-1941

>Debussy, Claude : Beau soir ("Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses"), song for voice & piano, L. 6
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Yo-Yo Ma (Cello); Kathryn Stott (Piano)
  • Notes: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts (2015-03-28&2015-03-30&2015-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1825