Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Innauguration: Moved by music

Perhaps it was just me, but I was a bit disappointed by Obama's speech. Not that it was bad, but just said nothing new really, and Obama has set a high bar in past speeches.

But I was moved by the John Williams arrangement "Air and Simple Gifts" played a panoply of the pop-stars of classical music, and was touched by the mosaic of colors represented in the simple quartet of musicians, the fact that they demonstrate America still attracts talent from around the world. The theme of the song was nice, with each musician given the chance to express his/her individuality, before coming together in a resounding whole.

I've always liked Simple Gifts especially, we played the Copland arrangement in marching band, and always liked the high drama of the half-time restatement of the theme (which Williams happily stole as he always does), but also portrays a nice essential image of the American spirit, of humility, that the world can be proud of.

So sure, John Williams, blockbuster maestro, did what he is best at, tug at the heartstrings with manipulative music. But it worked for me.

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