Skip to page content

About this Piece

Released last year, Songs from the Arc of Life is the most recent album from longtime recital partners Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. Each track reflects a point of experience, emotional and spiritual, on the trajectory of a human life.

This Suite gathers five of the 19 tracks from the album (with another coming after intermission). “I like to think of Songs from the Arc of Life as an invitation to our audience to remember and imagine what the soundtracks of their lives might be,” Ma says.

The Suite – and the album – begins and ends with two of the most famous settings of “Ave Maria,” Gounod’s “meditation” on Bach’s Prelude No. 1, and the almost equally familiar setting by Franz Schubert as the sixth of seven songs from Walter Scott’s epic poem The Lady of the Lake.