John Williams: A Gathering of Friends
A Gathering of Friends is another gem in John Williams’ magnificent Indian summer. The Cello Concerto, one of his most lyrical concert works, is a revised version of the piece written for Yo-Yo Ma in 1994 (and which he recorded in 2001). Twenty years on, and after substantial rethinks, it emerges tighter, stronger, and with a palpable joie de vivre. The finale, “Song,” is thrilling and really sings out in its new guise, with the New York Philharmonic in top form. The Schindler’s List pieces touch the heart while the works with guitar and harp (such as “Highwood’s Ghost,” composed for the 2018 Leonard Bernstein centennial) are beautifully and affectionately done.