Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inaugural music #2

One of the highlights of yesterday's historic event for me was the incredible performance of John Williams' arrangement of Simple Gifts. Here are violinist Itzahk Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero, and clarinetist Anthony McGill performing outdoors in 30 degree F weather. I hope we get a chance to see and hear them perform this piece in a more intimate venue soon.

P.S. I think I have a budding clarinetist in the family!


Barb said...

I really liked it, even though DH was just letting out this big annoyed sigh at the beginning, because he cannot stand Williams. I on the other hand (or the other ear?) can find joy in some of his music. Of course I was in heaven with Pearlman and Ma playing together (just love, love, love both). The music reminded me a lot of the appalachian albums that Ma did in collaboration with Meyer and O'Connor. That music is in my 10 CDs to take to the lonely island.

I looked for the song on itunes, but it was not there, hopefully yet!

LB said...

I just kept thinking - how are they going to keep those strings in tune???

I would like to hear it with better acoustics as well. The thing is, I really like the original arrangement, not to mention our chorus version. :)

Fiddler said...

Which original, LB? The Copland version in Appalachian Spring, I'm thinking you mean? Or do you mean the original Shaker tune? I like the ones you guys sang (and I played) last year, too, but I recently found in my growing stack of choral music a piece I had bought a few years ago that was and arrangement of Simple Gifts with Going Home (from Dvorak's New World Symphony). Just lovely!

Where would Harry Potter be without Hedwig's theme, Barb? I think J. is selling Williams short! He's another one of those composers that musicians are snobs about. I spent hours lying on my bed listening to my LP of the Star Wars soundtrack when I was a teenager. There was much worse music I could have been listening to! Is he a Mendelssohn or a Mozart? Probably not, but his music is enjoyable and he seems to be branching out in the last few years.

LB said...

I meant the Copland arrangement in Appalachian Spring (you mean that's not the original?!). And I agree with you on Williams. I love some of the lovely themes in his incidental music (even though I said I hated incidental music).


Barb said...

How funny, while writing it, I was thinking of Hedwig's theme precisely! I think there are some wonderful compositions by Williams and he can create mesmerizing atmospheres in movies and paint sound carpets - and yes, sometimes I am not sure which film it is, since it can be very similar. I agree though, J. is selling Williams short and we have had this fight since the moment we met. (not the only one)