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Yo-Yo Ma Cello-Synced at Inauguration

In their defense, it was almost impossible for Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman to actually play their instruments at Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony, because of the frigid weather, but it turns out that Ma, Perlman and the other two musicians who accompanied them at Tuesday’s event were performing in sync with a recording of John Williams’ commemorative arrangement.


The New York Times:

The players and the inauguration organizing committee said the arrangement was necessary because of the extreme cold and wind during Tuesday’s ceremony. The conditions raised the possibility of broken piano strings, cracked instruments and wacky intonation minutes before the president’s swearing in (which had problems of its own).

“Truly, weather just made it impossible,” Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Thursday. “No one’s trying to fool anybody. This isn’t a matter of Milli Vanilli,” Ms. Florman added, referring to the pop band that was stripped of a 1989 Grammy because the duo did not sing on their album and lip-synched in concerts.

Ms. Florman said that the use of a recording was not disclosed beforehand but that the NBC producers handling the television pool were told of its likelihood the day before.

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