McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Announcements

January 26, 2013

Inaugural music: It's nice, but it's not a concert

In 2009, Barack Obama wanted to include a moment of uplifting music in his inauguration. So he called Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, two of the most beloved figures in classical music. He said he wanted them to play in the ceremony. He said he liked Copland. And he left it at that.

Ma and Perlman could have raised a number of objections. They could have said that there were not any pieces for violin and cello that fit the bill; Copland certainly didn't write one. They could have said that there was no time for someone to compose something new. They could have said that it was impossible to play their instruments outdoors in icy weather in the month of January. But none of those seemed a proper response to this well-meant and signal honor. So, thinking on their feet, they turned to John Williams, the film composer, with whom they had both worked before ("Schindler's List," "Seven Years in Tibet," "Memoirs of a Geisha"), who could write on deadline, and who was an expert at producing music tailored to a specific scene or mood.

The result was exactly what was ordered: a piece of earnestly uplifting music, "Air and Simple Gifts," that incorporated Copland and featured Ma, Perlman and two other artists, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. Unfortunately, since it would have been impossible to play it live under the weather conditions that day, the artists prerecorded the music and then performed to a playback, and the idea that the music was faked, lip-synced, inauthentic seized the popular imagination, briefly, as if everyone had been subject to some kind of hoax. And the discussion about whether or not the music was any good, and about whether or not it had been right to prerecord it — discussion in which I, at the time, actively took part — eclipsed what perhaps should have been the main point, which was that it was nice that the president wanted classical music included at all.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Announcements
  • RICHARDSON 50 1.jpg Richardsons celebrate 50 years of marriage

    Haileyville High School graduates Jim and Connie Richardson, of rural Claremore, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Masonic Officers South McAlester Lodge 96 announces officers for 2014

    South McAlester Lodge 96 officers for 2014 are, from left, front row, Senior Warden Larry Ivy, Worshipful Master Chad Peery, Junior Warden Lance Hess, Senior Steward Christopher Hitchcock and Secretary Brian Engleman; and top row, Senior Deacon Matthew Box, Junior Steward Gregory Steidley, Chaplain Billy Erkin and Trustee Mike Sexton. Not pictured are Treasurer Jack Inman, Junior Deacon Jake Tannehill and Brent Yates.

    January 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • facebook.png Have teens really stopped using Facebook?

    In baseball, trend-spotting tends to be based on statistical analysis. In fashion, it's driven by runway shows. And when it comes to social networks, the ascendant paradigm for forecasting the future seems to center on first-person anecdotes and unsupported hearsay from random teen-agers.

    August 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • amazon Why you shouldn't trust Internet comments

    A new study suggests that such online scores don't always reveal the best choice. A massive controlled experiment of Web users finds that such ratings are highly susceptible to irrational "herd behavior" — and that the herd can be manipulated.

    August 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 10.25.04 AM.png VIDEO: Timelapse shows Perseid meteor shower

    This CNN video, shot in Hawaii, shows dozens of meteors crossing the skies during the Perseid meteor shower.

    August 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0812-forged.jpg Man accused of forging divorce papers to fool new girlfriend's mom

    A Pennsylvania man is accused of forging a judge's signature on a divorce decree to fool the mother of his much-younger new girlfriend, according to court documents.

    August 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • RAV4Ext.jpg Cargazing: Toyota RAV4 gets more efficient, better looking

    If you're looking for a compact crossover these days, you've got plenty of options: the sporty kind, the luxury kind, the truck-like kind and the just plain funky kind. But what I'm checking out this week is the traditional kind. It's the 2013 Toyota RAV4, and it's the kind of middle-of-the-road crossover that's made this type of car so popular in recent years.

    August 22, 2013 2 Photos

  • AVIS12.jpg 'We try harder': The most brilliant ad slogan of the 20th century

    In 1962, Avis was in search of a new advertising campaign. So the ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach decided to embrace Avis' second-place status as a sneaky way to tout the brand's customer service. "When you're only No. 2, you try harder," went the new tagline. "Or else."

    August 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0812-twins.jpg 8 sets of twins enrolled in school's kindergarten

    Sixteen tiny kindergartners sat on the slide at Pipe Creek Elementary in on their first day of school, waiting for a photographer to take their picture. Those 16 children are bound together by a common thread — they are all twins.

    August 16, 2013 1 Photo

  • iStock_000018389392XSmall.jpg 10 worst password ideas and tips for picking a better one

    Are your online passwords easily hackable? Measure yours up against this list of the 10 worst password ideas as outlined by Google Apps.

    August 16, 2013 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
NDN Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.