Yo-Yo Ma Pre-Records Inaugural Performance
Musicians Itzhak Perlman (L), Yo-Yo Ma and Anthony McGill play during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Itzhak Perlman;Yo-Yo Ma;Anthony McGill (Getty Images)more pics »Yo-Yo Ma and the three other musicians who performed during Barack Obama's inauguration have pulled a Milli Vanilli, sort of.
It seems the beautiful and well-composed tune you and the almost two million people gathered at the inauguration heard was pre-recorded two days earlier, with the quartet playing along.
But before you feel totally gypped, there's a decent explanation.
Apparently the decision to use the recording wasn't a result of nerves or laziness, but because of the freezing weather. Extreme weather conditions can affect instruments in different ways and the quartet was mainly concerned with weather-induced hazards such as broken strings, cracked instruments and tuning problems.
Musician Yo-Yo Ma told the New York Times:
I really wanted to do something that was absolutely physically and emotionally and, timing-wise, genuine. We also knew we couldn't have any technical or instrumental malfunction on that occasion. A broken string was not an option. It was wicked cold." Despite the fact that the song "Air and Simple Gifts," written by John Williams, was recorded, attendees sitting in the vicinity of the quartet swear the music they heard was authentic and beautiful.
If you missed the performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill, we've got the video for you right here:
Does it matter that the inauguration performance was pre-recorded? Take the poll here.