Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott come together again, this time for Songs of Comfort and Hope, set for release on December 11, 2020 on Sony Classical. Available now for preorder, Songs of Comfort and Hope is inspired by the series of recorded-at-home musical offerings that Ma began sharing in the first days of the COVID-19 lockdown in the United States. Throughout the spring and summer, Yo-Yo Ma’s #SongsofComfort grew from a self-shot video of Antonín Dvořák’s “Goin’ Home” into a worldwide effort that has reached more than 18 million people.

Ma and Stott mark the next chapter in the project with this new album, offering consolation and connection in the face of fear and isolation. The album includes 21 new recordings, which span modern arrangements of traditional folk tunes, canonical pop songs, jazz standards, and mainstays from the western classical repertoire. “Songs are little time capsules of
emotions: they can contain long-lost dreams and desires, and feelings of great spirit, optimism, and unity,” Ma and Stott write of Songs of Comfort and Hope.

“Songs bring a sense of community, identity, and purpose, crossing boundaries and binding us together in thanks, consolation, and encouragement. It had long been our wish to explore this medium further, but we could never have imagined that the catalyst would be a pandemic that fundamentally rearranged our ways of living. This is music that tells stories, that marks occasions private and public, that gives voice to celebrations, remembrances, and all of life’s mysteries. These are songs that pay tribute to musical champions of social justice — like Paul Robeson and Violeta Parra — and to the troubadours of our joy, imagination, and sorrow — like Francis Poulenc, Wu Tong, and Benjamin Britten.”

Among the new takes on old favorites are Pulitzer Prize® winner Caroline Shaw’s artful and eloquently arranged “Shenandoah”; Australian composer Harry Sdraulig’s “Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda”; pianist Stephen Hough’s lush arrangement of “Scarborough Fair”, and two-time Academy® Award–nominated icon Jorge Calandrelli’s re-imagining of a pair of songbook treasures: “We’ll Meet Again” by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, and Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a la Vida.” See the full track list below.

Ma and Stott’s recording partnership began in 1985, and includes Soul of the Tango and Obrigado Brazil, each of which garnered a GRAMMY® Award for “Best Classical Crossover Album.” Most recently, in 2015, they released the critically acclaimed Songs from the Arc of Life, of which NPR wrote, “Over those many years, they’ve developed a wonderfully warm and mutually responsive musical partnership that has blossomed in performances that are both generous and incisive.”

Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott share the warmth of decades of music making again with Songs of Comfort and Hope, offering audiences new paths into treasured musical memories and a few notes of hope for a better future.


Amazing Grace, Prelude
Traditional English
Arranged and produced by Graham Fitkin

Ol’ Man River
from Showboat, Jerome Kern and Oscar
Hammerstein II
Arranged by Roderick Williams

Traditional American
Arranged By Caroline Shaw

Goin’ Home
from Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “From the
New World”, Antonín Dvořák
Arranged by William Arms Fisher

Jewish Song
from Jewish Life, No. 3
Ernest Bloch

Zdes’ khorosho, Op. 21, No. 7
Sergei Rachmaninoff

Moscow Nights
Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi and Mikhail
Arranged by Stephen Hough

Over the Rainbow
from “The Wizard of Oz,” Harold Arlen
Arranged by Tom Poster

Rain Falling from the Roof
Wu Tong

Song Without Words, Op. 109
Felix Mendelssohn

Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda
Harry Sdraulig

Scarborough Fair
Traditional English
Arranged by Stephen Hough

Solveig’s Song
from Peer Gynt, Edvard Grieg

Les Chemins de l’Amour
Francis Poulenc

Marietta’s Lied
from Die tote Stadt, Erich Wolfgang

Thula Baba
Traditional Zulu lullaby
Arranged by Roderick Williams

The Last Rose of Summer
Traditional Irish
Arranged by Benjamin Britten

Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
Traditional Irish
Arranged by Fritz Kreisler

Gracias a la Vida
Violeta Parra
Arranged by Jorge Calandrelli

We’ll Meet Again
Ross Parker and Hughie Charles
Arranged by Jorge Calandrelli

Amazing Grace, Postlude
Traditional English
Arranged and produced by Graham Fitkin