Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The most moving part of the Inauguration for me

UPDATE: It has been reported that this performance was synced to prerecorded music. I thought that this might be the case when hearing how perfect the sound was, how balanced and how true the intonation was despite the bitter cold. They were playing, however playing to their previously recorded performance and it was convincing, but it was a recording we all heard.
Perlman said that the recording, which was made on Sunday at the Marine Barracks in Washington, was used only as a last resort.

“It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way,” he said. “This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”

(I guess Justice Roberts didn't get that message ; )

It brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible and joyous sound, and so uniquely American. Made famous by Aaron Copeland, the Shaker hymn was a great choice for the occasion. I can't tell you how moved I was by the performance of this John Williams arrangement of "Air and Simple Gifts" by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. Yo-Yo was absolutely beaming a big smile throughout the performance. This, by far, was the most moving part of the inauguration. This 'A-list' of performers also shows the diversity of America. Perlman - born an Israeli, Yo-Yo Ma - French born of Chinese parents, Gabriela Montero - a Latin American born in Venezuela, and Anthony McGill - an African American from Chicago. This was a celebration of all things that make America great.

If 2 million people could turn out to Washington to watch this with no major incidents, I hope this is a harbinger for the future of the cooperation, good will, and hope yet to come for a better America.

One criticism I must mention regarding the TV coverage, I have to say, I was terribly disappointed that CNN's Wolf Blitzer broke in and began to speak over this wonderful performance. I quickly switched to MSNBC and never went back. In my view, this was a very insensitive and disrespectful thing to do to both the listeners and these great artists.

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