Saturday, January 24, 2009

John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" - performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero & Anthony McGill - Beautiful!

Millions of viewers heard a recording of the dulcet tones played by a celebrated quartet of musicians at Barack Obama's inauguration rather than the notes the group actually played for the new president. (Jan. 23)

From Wikipedia:
He performed John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts" at the inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 along with Itzhak Perlman (violin), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet). While the quartet did play live, the music played simultaneously over speakers and on television was a recording made two days prior due to concerns over the cold weather damaging the instruments. Ma was quoted as saying "A broken string was not an option. It was wicked cold."

My thoughts; Though it has come out that this selection by Yo-Yo Ma was taped, who cares? It was a beautiful and most moving selection. Musically speaking, it was one of the most beautiful moments of the day for me. I think when you are Yo-Yo Ma, you are allowed to do that in freeezing weather. Especially when the taped performance is your music that you performed earlier and you have the great Itzhak Perlman on violin, and Gabriela Montero on piano at your side! I could not understand the media's attention on this small detail. Here is the full performance below. Beautiful!

'Air and Simple Gifts' John Williams at Obama Inauguration

John William's new "arrangement" for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration, featuring Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill

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