What to watch during the Trump inauguration

What to watch during the Trump inauguration


norman lebrecht

January 20, 2017

Here’s the link to Glen Roven’s counter-inauguration, featuring many of America’s top opera singers.

And here’s an intelligent response from a bunch of Juilliard students, led by Will Healy:

You see it here first.

Or just stare at the 2009 inauguration picture, and weep for lost innocence.


  • John says:

    Really embarrassing, Norman. Get back to reporting on music and stop the political whinging: we don’t care.

    • Daniel F. says:

      Please don’t use “we” in stating your own opinion. 1. It’s really tacky. 2. Since many of us DO “care”, it’s patently UNTRUE—unless you specify the group larger than yourself whom you claim to represent.

    • Marg says:

      It’s Norman’s blog. He can put up there what he likes. If you dont like an item that is clearly (by its title) political in overtone, dont read it. If you dont like the blog, dont subscribe to it. Just dont speak for the rest of us. Thank you.

    • Alvaro says:

      John, you forgot the “Heil Hydra”…..how dare you?!?

    • John says:

      This John does care. Keep it up, Norman.

    • Nick says:

      You’re absolutely right. Norman gets on the nerves with his biased comments. It is really none of his business. Disgusting!!

  • Scott Fields says:

    Cast one vote, John. I haven’t appointed you as my spokesman.

  • Chris Walsh says:

    He is reporting on music. He is reporting on the response of musicians to a vulgarian cretin who has already indicated his intent to seriously cut arts funding.

    • Marshall says:

      And who is the vulgarian?? Childish name caller.

      But what interests me more is how come Lebrecht has so little to say about Britain-he is British? May as PM in a parliamentary system has far more power than Trump will ever have.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Trump is an archetypal vulgarian — a simple truth. Your comment about May’s power v. that of POTUS is a touch bizarre.

        • Marshall says:

          Oh an “archetypal vulgarian” -what does that mean?-is that like a Jungian vulgarian, or a Freudian?

          Is an archetypal vulgarian a former president who massacred the pronunciation of probably the greatest living pianist-which is not the worst thing-but who clearly had no idea who he was giving an award to, and worst of all, over 8 years never expressed the slightest interest in anything but pop and rock music

          What is bizarre?-wherever you’re from-that you don’t understand the difference between a parliamentary system of government, and the Federal system in the US designed to have several layers inhibiting the use of direct power? Also we have a written constitution. And since I assume many of the people on here are Brits, why isn’t there an ongoing chorus about what’s happening over there-which for the moment is far more radical than anything Trumpian-thus far, or proposed?

    • Peter says:

      Poor USA, having (voluntarily) narrowed down their choice for their political leader to a choice between a vulgarian cretin and a most wicked cretin.

      God bless (and help) the 95% of the rest of the world.

  • r w says:

    Poor snowflakes

    So much sadness

    So much angst

    • Steven Holloway says:

      I do wish people would not use terms such as snowflake, mere transitory slang and intended to denigrate those who don’t agree with them. Of course, the primary meaning of the word is ‘social justice warrior’. Not sad, no angst — angry and active. I’m a 67 year-old historian, a specialist in the history of ideas, in diplomatic history, and also a psychotherapist. That’s why I’ve got Trump nailed — and you, come to think of it. This is not your first appearance on here, and you always sing the same tune. It reminds me of something Churchill observed: a fanatic is someone who cannot change his opinions and will not change the subject. I’m not sad, I have no angst, but I am sure as hell worried about what awaits the people on this planet — except, of course, for the billionaire corporate characters who compose most of Trump’s cabinet and for all their kin, for they will do very well out of his election, as I’m sure you expect to.

    • John says:

      I’ll wear the snowflake label with pride, and will do so until we again have a president who was elected by a majority of the people.

      • Steve P says:

        A majority of electors did elect the president, just as the constitution provisioned. The fact that a majority of citizens in several states don’t understand the voting process in a federal republic is irrelevant. Snowflakes beware!
        On a side note, I’m sad that the arts community has pursued such a leftist orientation. Funding for the arts is about to take a giant hit.

        • Nick says:

          @Steve P.

          Dear Steve, thank God, not everybody in the arts community has a Leftist orientation. There are plenty highly educated and intelligent people who absolutely disagree with most of the Leftist agenda. The problem is that not too many of them write comments. And there many more unemployed liberals with lots of time on their hands.

          As far Mr. Lebrecht goes, naturally it is his blog – he can do whatever he pleases, but his standpoint is disgustingly biased, disrespectful and insulting to some readers, and it is a shame to read what he writes.

      • pooroperaman says:

        He won according to the rules of the electoral college, exactly the same rules that gave us St. Obama, St. Clinton and St. Carter.

        If you don’t like the result, that’s up to you, but please don’t pretend that he took control in some sort of fascist putsch.

        • Nick says:

          You are absolutely right. The so called ‘elite’ does not know the definition of the word ‘fascism’, so they throw it around, left, right and center. Nor do they understand the meaning of “racism”, which is yet another popular word in their limited vocabulary.

          It is very unfortunate and sad that people use freedom of speech for one purpose only:
          to insult! Neither the most attractive nor the most intelligent usage of freedoms we still have.
          A shame!

  • David Boxwell says:

    Jackie sang with her angelic voice–verily, an emantion of the Divine! And she looked like she could be a Trump daughter!

    • Libor says:

      And outdoor od tune

    • Emil says:

      Granted, conditions were sub-optimal, but Evancho’s performance was dismal.

      • V.Lind says:

        If she’d just been a kid from the ‘hood, it would have been fine. Sweet little voice, untrained, badly breathed and phrased, but it’s HARD, and she has range still. Wobbly here and there, as shy kids will be on performance. Could get somewhere if properly taught.

        But this “kid” is marketed as a superstar. For a superstar, it was a dreadful performance.

        And from what I have seen the rest of the day, aside from the odd marching band, which did its duty, the music has been dire. I tuned into one of the balls and heard some guy struggling through Tie a Yellow Ribbon. And you thought the Obamas had bad musical taste?

        • Emil says:

          Also, she’s now 16 – the excuses one could make when she was 11 are less and less there; at 16, she should be shaping up to a decent singer.
          I had fun comparing it to Beyoncé’s anthem from the 2013 inauguration; I don’t normally care much for Beyoncé, but that woman can sing. It was like night and day.

        • Nina says:

          The triumph of mediocrity___with the exception, as you say, of a few of the bands.

  • Libor says:

    Out of tune

  • Heath says:

    Feeling very happy for President Trump at this moment! Was a great inaugaration, including musically.

  • Teresa says:

    I’m with Norman, a Trump presidency is just depressing.

  • Christopher CZAJA SAGER says:

    can’t remember a ‘counter inauguration’ in my lifetime
    there has been an on going fake -news defamation s i n c e the election though.
    And it is insulting to mock the votes of millions who won by a hair in spite of all the mass media in HC’s corner.
    See that slipped disc is among them.Chacun a son gout.The ‘deplorables ‘ aren’t a fringe-group: just not part of the elites though.

  • Nick says:

    The so-called “elite” is not really an elite! A bunch of demagogues and of these American has 60+ millions too many!!

  • Peter says:

    Reading this thread and other “discussions” on the internet between Americans, I think that country is lost, a failed country.
    Their mindsets are so deep down that rabbit hole of that partisan dualism – unlike in a real democracy – that I can not see how that country can ever democratically come together.
    That they can’t see how both Clinton and Trump were both unworthy choices, pest or cholera. Playing chips of different fractions of the upper 1% plutocracy. A failed state as far as humanity, freedom and democracy are concerned.

  • glen roven says:

    So thrilled the piece caused such reaction. Just what I (we) wanted it to do! Thanks Norman! Ny Times seemed to like it. http://bit.ly/hillaryspeechesnytimes
    Bashing the NY Times starts now!! GO!

    • Nick says:


      Bashing NYT is not entertaining! They do a great job at bashing themselves just by their very existence. To set empty political rhetoric to music could not have resulted in a captivating piece of art. So, naturally, it resulted in a piece of crap! Some, of course, would argue it is music. Not trained musicians, of course. Probably, the liberal “elite”

      Poor Ms. Evancho, as powerless as she sounded in cold weather, has at least innate musicality (if nothing else). It is this innate musicality (talent) is totally lacking in this futile attempt at propaganda. One can even hardly call it “muzak”. Elevator music deserves more respect than this piece of crap. It is much less annoying.

  • Ben says:

    Thank goodness there is no Yo Yo bow-syncing with his cello. 🙂