Musicians are still amazing, live or otherwise

There are lots of reports that the version of "Air and Simple Gifts", which was performed by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill at the President's Inauguration, was actually a pre-recorded version to which the musicians played insync to. I'm not sure why this is such big news; it's not like they were pretending to play something someone else had actually performed (ref: Milli Vanilli).

The quartet recorded the piece and then made a decision, due to weather, to have the pre-recording piece broadcast because it would be impossible for their instruments to be in tune. What benefit would have been served by having the performance something less than amazing? It's still a lovely piece of music, the musicians are tops in their field, and they did play what we heard - just what we heard wasn't quite the same as what they actually sounded like on the day.


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