- Itzhak and Yo-Yo Go Milli Vanilli (Gizmodo) - I have less of a problem with the prerecording then not telling people. (Berman Post) - almost lip-synching...Marine Band, choruses were live (Daniel Wakin) - The synching business bugs me because President Obama has been very
clear that he wants his to be as transparent an administration as
possible. (Iron Tongue of Midnight) - Apparently the same folks that ran the Beijing Olympics were running the inauguration... (Dan Savage)
+ nice tune (Berman Post) + somber, elegiac tones (Daniel Wakin) + I've been very vulnerable to being song-virused by "Simple Gifts," also known as The Shaker Hymn (The Infamous Brad) - dull and sad (Seri's Journal) - also, the peroration at 3'19 is lovely and compensates for the hackneyed (and desultory) exchanges between violin and cello that infest the piece around 2'40; and why not give the pianist something interesting to play? (Christopher Delaurenti) - Sounds like drunken whales singing...It's time! Swear him in already!
(Myth-Jack This) + But the performance had an accessible, exciting power, and McGill’s clarinet interpretation of Copland’s “Simple Gifts” melody was easier to understand, and was more potent, than anything in Alexander’s poem. (Margaret Hair) Did anyone else notice that the piece that John Williams wrote for Barack Obama's Inauguration has the same as the instrumentation as Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time? (Musical Assumptions)
+ So why not have John Williams pick a quintessentially American tune (thanks to Copland) to make a lighter occasional piece (Musical Perceptions) - Regular readers are aware that I am not a fan of Copland in Americana
mode, and I have heard the damn tune too many times already in Appalachian Spring. And aren't there better American composers available than John Williams? (Iron Tongue of Midnight) - warmed-over Copland, though Obama seems to enjoy it (LawyerWorldLand) - Even the scoring (the clarinet introduces the tune) was unoriginal (Arthur Kaptainis) - This composition, passed of by John Williams as original, is strikingly similar to Ben Johnston's Sting Quartet #4, 'Amazing Grace'. He basically does the same thing: takes a traditional American song and puts it in a chamber group environment and presents it several contexts. (The Yellow Board) - I wanted to write about the John Williams commission, but it should speak for itself, another part of the deep embrace between official State pomp and the Hollywood representation of the auspicious in American today. (Renewable Music) - John Adams, responding to the catastrophe of 9/11, wrote a masterpiece, “On the Transmigration of Souls”; Williams, responding to a request for a Presidential entr’acte from Mr. Obama, made a touching little tribute to Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.” (Russell Platt) + But let's give credit to the man who actually wrote "Simple Gifts" in the 19th century, a member of the Shaker faith named Joseph Brackett. (Minnesota Public Radio)
+ Obama became president during the performance (Fox the Poet) + South Sider (and no doubt Sox fan) Anthony McGill on the clarinet (Kate McKinnon) - 12:03 PM EST- Itzhak AND Yo-yo playing John Williams? It’s like the ultimate “considered sophisticated but still known to most of middle class America” supergroup! I’m expecting a nation-wide tour with Asia opening, gents. (Cracked) + I couldn’t help but be moved by the enormity of the situation. The free transition of power, ushered gracefully through by the masterful playing of Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Itzhak Perlman on violin, Gabriela Montero on piano and Anthony McGill on clarinet.(Listening Room)
+ The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra said it would present the work
during Friday night’s regular program, which was to include Gershwin’s
“Rhapsody in Blue,” with Ms. Montero as soloist. She was to be joined
in the Williams piece by members of the orchestra. (Daniel Wakin) + Violinist Andres Cardenes, cellist David Premo and clarinetist Michael Rusinek were Montero's sensitive partners last night. Montero wore a Terrible Towel when they came out for their bow. (Mark Kanny)
The track and the album begin with a lovely, sweet violin melody, which
is counterintuitive to the bombast and adrenaline-pumping tempo of the
movie itself. But make no mistake, the approach here fits, even as the
strings kick in and the track becomes more and more symphonic.