I’d like to give you a couple of links to pieces about music, very different from each other. The first is an essay called “Faking It and Making It.” It’s about lip-synching and other such shenanigans. I wrote it exactly four years ago, after Beyoncé faked her way through the national anthem at President Obama’s (second) inauguration. We are running it today as a sample, so to speak: It appears in the “Music” section of this new collection.
At The New Criterion, I have a review of a concert at Carnegie Hall on Friday night. Daniel Barenboim conducted the Staatskapelle Berlin, and also served as piano soloist. And speaker. He gave a post-concert speech that will be of interest to those who are interested in the intersection of the arts and politics. For many decades, Barenboim has been a political actor, as well as a musical one. I, of course, prefer him as a musician.
Incidental intelligence (as my colleague Martin Bernheimer would say): Daniel Barenboim made his Carnegie Hall debut, age 14, on January 20, 1957. That was the day of Eisenhower’s (second) inauguration. This concert that I have written about took place exactly 60 years later, on the night of Donald Trump’s inauguration.