I grew up in a house where a lot of classical music was played, and a lot of Sesame Street was watched. I bet I heard the traditional Shaker tune “Simple Gifts” before I could even talk, thanks to Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring;” I’ve kind of idolized violinist Itzhak Perlman ever since I saw him on my black-and-white TV; and, well, I’ve posted before about what I think of Yo-Yo Ma. So, aside from the actual fact of Barack Obama becoming President (and George Bush going away), can you guess what part of Tuesday’s inauguration I liked best? That’s right, even more than Aretha Franklin’s hat, or Joe Biden’s smile you could see from the moon, or even Obama saying stuff like, “We will restore science to its rightful place,” and, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — AND NON-BELIEVERS!” (Okay, no, he didn’t actually scream that last part, but my non-believing soul screamed out “THANK YOU” in response!)
Are you still with me? We’re guessing what part of the inauguration I liked best. And, yes, you’re right! Here we have it, “Air and Simple Gifts,” arranged by John Williams, performed by Itzhak Perlman on violin, Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Anthony McGill on clarinet, and Gabriela Montero on piano (wearing the cutest cut-off gloves ever):
By the way, let’s give them props for getting beautiful sounds out of those instruments in frigid temperatures and with the wind whistling in their ears. Seriously. Those instruments shouldn’t even have been out in that weather. And when is formalwear going to start to include winter hats? All those cold ears at the inauguration; it was hard to watch.
Did you watch? Did it make your ears cold? And did you have a favorite part?
Oh, and before I go: no, “non-believing soul” is NOT an oxymoron.