Cellist Yo-Yo Ma (65) released an album ‘Songs of Comfort’ with Pianist Kathryn Stott (62). It compilated classical music and popular folksongs, including Greig’s Solveig’s Song, a British folksong ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ from the film ‘The Wizard of Oz.’
They started to work on the album after the covid-19 lockdown in the U.S. Yo-Yo Ma started to video-record himself at home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after all the concerts were canceled early spring this year. ‘Songs of Comfort’ has become the title of the series, which was watched by more than 18 million worldwide. The album containing the same repertoire as the video clips was released in Korea on Friday. The Dong-A Ilbo interviewed him via e-mail.
“I always try to see beyond boundaries. I try to go beyond not just borders between countries but also boundaries between various genres and traditions. I believe I can find touchpoints anywhere if I look at the world with an open mind. Humanity will be able to create a new era of cooperation and understanding by understanding each other, making memories together and delivering hopes and consolations to each other.”
The Dong-A Ilbo asked if there were songs related to his personal memories or experiences among songs in the album.
“The song ‘Goin’ Home’ which assembled Dvorak’s Movement 4 of the New World Symphony is related to my family. My father-in-law is an excellent baritone singer. He is 90 years old but still can sing. He was taught by a renowned tenor Roland Hayes, who was trained by Harry Burleigh, Dvorak’s student when he stayed in the U.S.”
Dvorak imagined Burleigh’s voice when he wrote the melody. Pianist Kathryn Stott and Ma worked together for a long time.