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January 23, 2009

Told you so; synced recording at Inauguration

Excuse the I-told-you-so obnoxiousness, but, as reported today by the intrepid Dan Wakin in the Times, the starry ensemble of violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriella Montero essentially mimed the premiere of John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts to a recording of the piece during the Obama inaugural ceremony -- just as I suggested in my post about the event. Let's face it, there's no way those guys could have been warm enough and their instruments in tune enough to sound that good. It's not a big deal, of course. The use of the pre-recorded performance allowed the music to be heard effectively at the ceremony, and, judging by the reactions I've received, the work hit the spot for a lot of people. Kudos to the four players who managed to sync so well in such frigid conditions.  
Posted by Tim Smith at 8:08 AM | | Comments (1)


I agree, it was necessary to use a recorded performance. That said, how can I get my own recording of it?

So far, I haven't heard of any plans to release a recording, but I'll post info if/when I get it.Tim

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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