Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama's inauguration | Yo-Yo Ma pulls an Ashlee Simpson

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill play on Inauguration Day, a performance that most of the 2 million people in the audience didn't hear.

The more I talk with people about the Inauguration Day music, the more I hear about how much it was lacking.

Aretha Franklin messed with something that shouldn't have been messed with: "My country 'Tis of Thee." There are times that call for the traditional and the appropriate, and the inauguration is it.

Franklin mostly got off the hook for her rendition, but got more flack for her bow-tie hat that some said was inappropriate for the occasion. How ironic.

And then there was Yo-Yo-Ma. Turns out he's a great string-sycher. The famous cellist and his accompaniment decided that it was too cold to present their tunes in tune. So they played, but what most people heard was a pre-recorded version of John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts."

Even so, I wasn't impressed by the composition. But it was still better done that Franklin's performance. Maybe she should have lip-synched.

Already with Franklin's, Ma's and Chief Justice John Roberts' performances, what else will we learn went wrong?

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