Russell O'Rourke, who's studying music at Princeton, sends along a link to a Detroit News story that details some of the music to be heard at the inauguration of Barack Obama next month. Russell draws attention to this sentence in particular: "Just before President-elect Obama takes the oath of office, composer/arranger John Williams will direct a performance by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill." Hmm, a piece for violin, cello, piano, and clarinet . . . Is it possible that Obama will take the oath to the tune of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time? Reading further, one sees that John Williams will, in fact, compose as well as direct the selection in question. Still, it's fun to imagine hearing "Abyss of Birds" on the steps of the Capitol.
Update: The Fredösphere reminds us that presidential fixations on French modernist composers can easily go wrong.