India has been on the receiving end of a lot of love and support from the international community as it grapples with an unprecedented surge in cases and deaths related to coronavirus. While many including governments and international organisations have stepped up to help Indians with medical resources like oxygen, artists have been doing their own part in helping people cope with the stress of the pandemic and the ensuing loss and sense of despair to families who have lost their livelihoods or worse, their loved ones. In an expression of solidarity with Indians struggling to cope with the pandemic, American-Chinese cellist Yo-Yo Ma has shared a rendition of Bach’s ‘Sarabande’ from his iconic Suite for Solo Cello No 4.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s ‘Sarabande’ is known for its sparse yet ethereal texture and is part of one of his iconic Cello Suites. Dedicating the music to help ease the suffering of those in India, Yo-Yo Ma shared his rendition of the piece on several platforms including Twitter and YouTube.

Many on social media thanked the artist for his attempts to help ease the minds and hearts of those affected by the pandemic.

This is not the first time that the famed cellist has helped cheer up lovers of classical music and others alike with his performance. Newly vaccinated Massachusetts residents were treated to a mini-concert in March when Yo-Yo Ma brought out his instrument after getting his second coronavirus shot.

A masked-up Ma took a seat along the wall of the observation area Saturday at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield and played for about 15 minutes to applause from the other attendees.

The renowned musician, who lives part-time in the area, said he wanted to give something back.

Yo-Yo Ma was recently spotted in India when he put up an impromptu show in Mumbai’s Marine Drive. The celebrated Grammy-award winning cellist quietly walked onto the promenade with his cello, right before sundown, sat down on the wall that separates the sea from the city and started playing Bach’s Cello Suite No 1.

Meanwhile, India accounted for 46% of the new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide last week and one in four of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. The surge of the coronavirus in India, including of a highly infectious new variant first identified there, has seen hospitals runs out of beds and oxygen, and morgues and crematoriums overflowing. Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen.

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