Not so simple

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Shakers.jpgI liked John Williams’ version of “Simple Gifts” that Yo-Yo Ma and company performed at the Inauguration–lighter and subtler than Aaron Copeland’s famous Appalachian Spring version, where the old Shaker hymn reaches a level of fortissimo bombast that has always seemed to me at odds with that religious tradition. Even so, you wonder what the Shakers themselves would have thought about having the musical expression of their modest if ecstatic dancing ways incorporated into the inaugural extravaganza.