Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Air and Simple Gifts for US Presidential Inauguration

For some reason, I really enjoy this piece of classical music composed for the Barack Obama and Joe Biden Presidential and Vice Presidential Inauguration.

A New Williams Work for a Momentous Occasion

Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriele Montero and Anthony McGill.(Jason Reed/Reuters)
Air and Simple Gifts
Itzhak Perlman on violin, Yo Yo Ma on cello, Garbriela Montero on piano and Anthony McGill on clarinet.

The cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who was asked by the inauguration committee to organize the performance, invited three illustrious colleagues to join him: the renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman; the superb young clarinetist Anthony McGill, a principal player in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (and among the few black artists to hold a principal chair in a major orchestra); and the fiery Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriele Montero. The intrepid performers had to cope with performing outdoors in temperatures hovering in the mid-20s. Ms. Montero, especially, looked to be freezing and wore woolen gloves with the fingers removed. But they all managed remarkably well.

He got the mood right, I thought, in this contemplative occasional piece.

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Link to video of song on New York Times. Introduction by Dianne Feinstein the senior U.S. Senator from California.

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