At the inauguration duel, did JLo outsing Lady Gaga?

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  • No, but I’ve never understood why Americans seem to revel in hearing pop stars completely tear their national anthem apart. Does any other country does this? Thought Lady Gaga was ok, staying just on the personal rather than completely idiosyncratic “interpretation”

    • I thought Lady Gaga was pretty good. My unreliable WiFi went down through J-Lo, who started out unimpressively enough that I didn’t care. Sounded better at the end, when the WiFi came back. May play these clips, but the most appealing thing about the whole ceremonial was the young poet laureate.

      • Well, finally listened to it. My WiFi must have known something I didn’t anticipate. I thought J-Lo was awful. An uninteresting voice (not in the class of Lady Gaga’s) and a hideous version of America the Beautiful, leaving out most of the rather nice words.

        At least it was short.

    • In spite of the usual ‘over the top’ and mannered delivery of the lyrics, I liked a lot of the chord substitutions and contrary motions in the harmonies. I wonder who did the arrangement?

    • I totally agree with Mvarc. Lady Gaga was the better, but why any country tolerates the continuous degrading of its national anthem by pop stars and others totally beats me. It’s a national anthem – not a pop song. When it is performed by an orchestra, it is never played any other way than as written with all the dignity and solemnity that a national anthem should convey.

  • Utterly nauseating. What a trash culture. But perfect for the installation of an illegitimate, corrupt, and evil man to head an equally corrupt, evil, and sick regime.

    • So any culture other than yours is trash? I’m a white male whose career has been with some of the largest classical music organizations in the US. These performances represented the majority of the country. Beethoven didn’t compose the Star Spangled Banner…

      • You know the audience that floods these dark areas of the web, right?

        Anything praising the Alt right or demonizing “the dems” gets consistently upvoted.

        It’t not a coincidence….

      • So what have you done with those classical music organizations? Would any of us know your name? And those ‘performances’ don’t represent me or thousands of other Americans. And those pop creatures are trashy.

        • Perhaps they don’t represent “thousands of (other) Americans”, but these pop artists do represent the hundreds of millions of other citizens. I am comfortable with the relatively small niche that classical music occupies in my county and the world. As an occupation, it has been good to me, as I have been to my profession. Classical musicians and enthusiasts need to be a little more open to reality.

          And, oh…trash is in the eye of the beholder, honey.

          (Why, oh why do I respond to trolls????)

          • Tiredofitall-

            Please keep responding to trolls. If we don’t, they think they own the space. It also exposes their lack of understanding of the issues and their irrational behavior when confronted with the truth.

        • The certification of results is bipartisan and at state level. If there was any bit of truth in the mail fraud myth, I a sure Bill Barr would have made the most out of it.

          • “Bill”, you and your comment are disgusting and despicable.
            What the hell is wrong with you? Were you raised by Nazis?
            You are racist trash.

        • Bone-

          You should join Trump in Russia. Putin engages in the most free and transparent election procedures on the planet.

          He, Putin, also allows for an open, often critical, discussion of his policies and the policies of his administration, as did Trump.

          Putin, as did Trump, condemns political assassination, both literal and figurative and puts the welfare of the electorate, both for and against, first.

          Putin, as did Trump, doesn’t entertain his own financial well-being over the citizens of the country and engage in the grifting of his people.

          Boy, they sure are alike.

      • Indeed, the tune for the Star Spangled Banner was taken from a popular British song, “To Anacreon in Heaven”, just as “My Country Tis of Thee” was taken from “God Save the King.”

      • As a self-identifying “white male” you can stop commenting now.

        It’s all LGBTQ…, woman, black, from here on in!

        Too bad for the Native Americans…only popular to love once a year.

        Also, what will Jews do now that mostly Obama’s leftovers got key administration jobs? Go back to the ‘67 borders as savior Barack INVOKED?!?!

    • Evil? What a horrible thing to say about Joe Biden, unless he is has done something to you personally that the rest of the world don’t know about to justify your language of hate as evil.

    • Check your fact sources.

      Like them or not, Biden and Harris won the election. They are legitimate President and Vice-President.

      Like them or not, the Democrats will effectively have a majority in both houses of Congress. Arguably, Trump’s trashing of the legitimacy of elections helped the Democrats win both Senate seats representing Georgia.

    • “Dennis”, why don’t you go suck on a lemon?
      Do you really think that YOUR culture (whatever and wherever it may be; you don’t give a clue) is so superior that it has no problems? That everything is perfect? That there is no corruption where you are? That your little pea-sized brain knows all?
      You are a moron, and a closed-minded moron at that.

    • Stop the judgements on the way the song was interpreted each artist represented their own unique manner and if you don’t like it then don’t watch it america is for all as for evil in the country ?? That was 4 years ago now change is coming finally!!

    • Dennis, I can see where you’re coming from. The Americans are particularly prone to this kind of treacly sentimentality and the endless fetishes about their precious “flag”, never mind the way God (only the white one, of course, Jahweh and Allah aren’t in the picture) is invoked in nearly everything that is done. However, the USA is still the most important power on the planet and what happens there matters enormously to everybody else. You have to hope that the messages signalling a fresh start after all the hatred and lies of the past four years will bring about a new focus and a determination to be straight with people.

    • On behalf of the rest of the world , we are extremely relieved at the investiture of a very kind , empathetic, new president “Biden”.

    • Hate to say this on Norman’s page, but dude, you are completely deranged and devoid of facts. Totally bizarre and antithetical to what has transpired over the last 4 years and what has been clearly stated over the past 48 hours.

    • Get your syntax right. I’m sure his parents were married at his birth . And glad to hear you recognise his ‘ legitimate’ installation with a substantial majority.

      • At least Obama had Yo-yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, another level! (Even if they were in play-back because of the biting cold).

        • Anyone want to speculate why Itzhak Perlman was one of six people at Jeffrey Epstein’s 40th birthday party?

        • Given the limitations of the available repertoire for the inauguration, the evening concert (some live, many clips taped) offered a showcase for more musicians and styles, and included Yo-Yo Ma.

    • What are you on about? Team blue won with the most votes ever received. Clearly the Americans are ready to shift utopian socialism into high gear, and how in any way could that be to the detriment of classical music?

  • Sadly, I couldn’t relate to either.
    I can’t help thinking back of Whitney Houston and her unforgettable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

    • I thought Lady Gaga did just fine, but the best rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” I have ever heard, and I kid you not, was that of Meat Loaf.
      He didn’t mess with the song, do any bullshit melismas, or change the melody – all he did was sing it straight, with a true, powerful voice, and with real feeling.
      By the way, I’ve never liked the “SSB”. I’ve always thought the best song for a USA anthem is “America the Beautiful”.

    • Any person can sing the star spangled banner as they feel however they feel happy with in the mode they want and the tone they want

  • That’s fine, so long as they don’t butcher the Irving Berlin classic “God Bless America”. I never can stand that Star Spangled Banner song.

  • Often we tend to bemoan the current and the ‘other’, nostalgic for the past and the traditional. Perhaps we are also a bit at fault, in our own purist bubble, where there are still cult niches such as the pilgrimage to Bayreuth or Salzburg, and where it is blasphemy to consider vaccinating people against Covid in La Scala. IMHO we’d benefit from some openness to contemporary trends, embracing cross-over and the unorthodox, while still appreciating classical rigor.

    • On the surface, this comment seems entirely reasonable. But: “embracing cross-over and the unorthodox, while still appreciating classical rigor”. In the same time? In one single project or concert? Or next to each other? Combining on one evening a Mendelssohn symphony with a Chinese Pipa Concerto, followed by a ‘rap’ by Childish Gambino? Impossible to imagine because if cross-over means including pop, or – say – gamelan, in one embrace, how could that work?

      There is nothing against other musics, as long as very real distinctions are not overlooked. Every musical tradition requires a specific perceptive framework – or, translated: you expect something quite different from Lady Gaga in comparison to Mahler. The same problem already shows-up with including a sonic work in an otherwise classical programme – which is, in such context, like a gorilla interrupting a wedding party. Now imagine Lady Gaga as an entr’acte between movement 3 and 4 of Beethoven 9.

  • I look fondly back to the time when the the anthem was sung magnificently by opera singers like Robert Merrill.

    • I could not listen-out the Gaga video, with the ridiculous arrangement of the anthem. It’s hilarious, and one’s heart is filled with deep sorry for the American people.

  • I too am disappointed with the singers at the Inauguration. I would’ve loved to have heard Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Joyce DiDonato, Angel Blue, etc. sing instead of who was selected. The singers reflect President Biden’s tastes as well as (perhaps) some political consideration.

    • Stefani and J-Lo both campaigned for him. Garth Brooks, for some reason, has sung at every Inauguration since Carter, except Reagan. He is Republican, so was presumably a bipartisan gesture.

    • Renee Fleming sang at Biden’s inauguration mass, a more personal and non-televised event. Perhaps THAT reflects Biden’s actual tastes? Hope this relieves your aching disappointment somewhat.

  • Lady Gaga, hands down! How ironic that the lyrics reflect the reaction to the the storming of Fort McHenry by a mob of thugs and miscreants in 1814. You could almost copy and paste it onto the events of Jan 6th. All the performers were very good and it was wonderful to see normalcy and decency after 4 years or unrelenting BS.

  • Amanda Gorman, only 22, has a gift and wisdom beyond her years.
    Her words were amazing, and it will be worth looking out for her future work.

  • Instead of listening to the political noise, perhaps we should listen to and hear the silence? Or at least try to listen to the Funeral March from the Third Symphony, which was played in that January of 2014 by La Scala’s orchestra to the empty theater, conveyed to the loudspeakers outside. All the three doors of La Scala were open and the the crowd in front of the theatre was listening. Today is the anniversary of Claudio Abbado.

    • That’s actually part of the point Woody Guthrie, an Oklahoman, was making, and then Pete Seeger after him; the latter’s performances were particularly associated with the Native American causes he championed. It’s why the song is called ‘This Land Is Your Land’, and why the refrain insists, “this land was made for you and me.”

    • It was written by Woody Guthrie, denounced at the time as a communist subversive and the song was long viewed as a retort or sorts to Irving Berlin’s more establishment-accepted “American the Beautiful.” And it’s “This land is YOUR land, this land is my land.” I imagine Woody would have been sympathetic to Native American causes and was not making an imperialist statement.

  • Classical music and art in general seem ill-served by the snobbery and backwards thinking of the people and their commentary here. Putting down one style/performer to lift up another is so incredibly myopic. As if music making is some kind of zero-sum game. The clutching of pearls that goes on in this space is nauseating.

    • A nice example of the thinking that emerges from the cauldron of the egalitarian world view: everything is on the same level of quality, and deserves the same level of respect. Making qualitative distinctions is myopic, and leaving them behind is a sign of liberated, inclusive, and broad erudition and understanding. Thinking such totally [redacted] idea through, one ends-up with treating sunday afternoon needlework the same way as Raphael paintings, and claim newspaper articles on the same level of meaning as Proust or Dostoyevski, and insisting that the recent master piece by Johannes Kreider deserves the same reverence as a Mozart symphony:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwlCD2y2tBA

      Such ideas are attacks upon the notion of meaning and quality, and are self-defeating and suicidal. In fact, under the very thin cover of enlightenment, they are the expressions of barbarians, not belonging in any civilisation.

      One should never confuse the entirely obvious distinctions that exist between different types human expressions with snobbery.

      The author of this silly comment is advised to begin some serious reading before revealing his bottomless philistinism.

  • Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” should be the national anthem.
    Star Spangled Banner is a horrible song even when sung properly.

  • I slept through the whole revolting spectacle. Our national anthem is best when played, or sung by, say the USNA choir.Not when howled or yodeled by some vulgar, no-talent pop creature.

    • Oh “Patti”, “Patti”, “Patti”, You did not sleep “through the whole revolting spectacle”, quite the contrary, you watched every second. I see you sat in a mouldy lounger in a slovenly room smelling of rancid cigarette smoke, alone, grinding your tooth to dust, all the while furiously posting on your favourite far-right web-sites in real time. Hate, bitterness, ignorance and petty grievances are what keeps you alive. Don’t try and gaslight us, we know what you are; a troll.
      BTW, you are not a woman.

  • Dunno aboutwho outsang whom. But I sure agree with one commentator who asked: is Lady Gaga’s dress a design or architecture?

    To my ears and eyes, she was fabulous both in voice and wardrobe.

    She even outdid Madeleine Albright 🙂

    • I have no idea who he is, but he certainly avoided most of the original notation of a simple piece .
      If he was singing to represent the tens of millions of delusional evangelicals, then I’ll pass

      • Not necessarily a fan of Brooks but 1. He was offered the invitation and graciously accepted, 2. His fan base leans right, but I haven’t heard any indication that he himself is a right-wing whacko espousing the violent takeover of our government. I’m willing to give the gesture a chance.

  • It seemed like J.Lo used a pre-recorded, somewhat auto-tuned track, no? That being said, it did sound nice.

    But Lady Gaga, as far as I know, always sings live. I enjoyed (and preferred) the raw emotions in her voice, happening in the moment.

    • I would guess they were studio recorded, as there were strings or synth on the track , and voice was removed , and sang live with some guide in an earpiece. You cannot sing with such emotion otherwise

  • Snobs, all of you! Both performances were highly professional, heartfelt, dignified, and appropriate to this celebratory occasion.

  • Honestly, who cares! We now have an honest President who has a beautiful soul, who is committed to working diligently for the American people, who is committed to social justice, rebuilding domestic and foreign alliances, and who has already re-joined the Paris Climate Accord, amongst other positive executive orders today. As an (Australian) artist living in Washington D.C. (only a few miles from the White House), I can categorically confirm that this wonderful city is so relieved to have an empath and an adult in the White House now. D.C. is overwhelmingly liberal, but even many conservative friends of mine are happy and relieved that the former IMPOTUS has gone (hopefully for good). It has been a fascinating, exciting and humbling experience living here for almost 20 years, but the feeling of hope in this town, even during these dark days of the pandemic, and despite the past chaotic and disgusting 4 years of the Trump “administration”, is palpable. I could go in at some length about the extraodinary people whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know here in the US capital over the years, both liberal and conservative (notably the inspirational RBG), however I shall only say that I am most hopeful that this country is back on track, fingers crossed, and that Biden and Harris are very worthy holders of their most precious appointments. I’m disappointed yet again that there is no classical artist involved in the celebrations, but I’ll settle for an administration that values human beings and equality, which we now have.

  • I don’t like either of them, but to make a fuss about the choice of musical artist at this inauguration is a bit like complaining about the decor on the lifeboat that has just saved you from drowning at sea.

  • btw — watching the Biden evening celebration, Yo Yo Ma is right now performing Amazing Grace… As for earlier in the day, it was the first Presidential inauguration ever at a Lady Gaga concert. She was that good.

  • With ease. Garth Brooks out sang her, as well. The both of them are much better ‘song stylists’, as they used to say

  • J-Lo’s intonation was definitely better, but Lady Gaga had the unenviable job of singing our completely unmusical and impossible to sing national anthem in cold weather, so I’ll forgive her.

  • Lady Gaga’s performance was the BEST..she blew me away❤️❤️❤️
    JLo , I’m not a fan of her or her music.

  • After all the hype I found Lady Gaga’s rendition underwhelming — bland, even. The young poet Amanda Gorman, on the other hand, was terrific.

  • Well if you can’t stand the star spangled banner then don’t read it dont hear it dont mention it then erase it from your memory thank you anyone can interpret the star spangled banner as they feel

  • Yes, too bad that no classical artists were present. But Lady Gaga was, as usual, fantastic. A great personality. We would need more such personalities (with such skills) also in our business.

    • Thank you, Maestro Luisi! I thought that Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks all did great. I actually thought that J.Lo’s performance was the finest and most completely realized, partly because of her better intonation on this day in a challenging performance environment. So I think I know where Norman was going with the headline on this item. But what’s most important is your implicit recognition that the grousing and grumbling you inevitably see in these discussions has the following value in promoting classical music in America: absolutely none whatsoever.

      Your positive remark about the characteristics that a Lady Gaga could bring to this field is particularly apt. At the risk of pointing to my own work, it causes me to suggest that people here look up an article I published a few weeks ago called “What Classical Music Can Learn From The Queen’s Gambit” that I’ve received quite a bit of comment about. The last part of the title is a reference to the Netflix series about a female chess player, and the article deals with the value of viral moments and situations and leaning into sometimes surprising elements of the popular culture versus complaining and protesting the way of the world. It’s published on a prominent news and entertainment website whose general political orientation happens to be, shall we say, not terribly sympathetic to President Biden and Vice President Harris, although I have respect for the people there who are responsible for its cultural coverage. I’ll just leave it at that and I’m sure people can find it just by putting the headline in search. Thanks for the conversation.

    • Actually a sign of things we will no longer have to look at – -His Fat Ass, although I’m kind of looking forward to seeing his mug shot. And . . . wow! His Orangeness in an orange jump suit!

  • Yes. How appalling to wreck their National Anthem so spectacularly. But this is the nation which elected Trump so not surprising really.

  • I thought making arrangements of the US national anthem was ilegal. Whoever changed the metre in yesterday’s arrangement would surely get in trouble under different circumstances?

    • I think the sincere sentiments override any variance of metre. As if 330million people know what 5/4 is, or would believe it’s seditious? , it’s a personal heartfelt expression.

  • I’m wondering how long it will take until the anthem needs to be translated into Chinese. With Traitor Joe now at the helm it is inevitable.

    • You are really fringe-worthy and cringe-worthy. “Joe’s opening the gates for the Chinese Globolinks to take us over! Help! Help!”

    • He s hit the ground running, just like he ran from one side of the Avenue to the other meeting and greeting Americans .

      Time to let America heal.

    • Yeah, Trump was an altar boy. You know who he screwed over the most – – people like yourself. Do you know why? Because you actually think he cared about you or your issues. He didn’t, he doesn’t and he never will (although he may have lots of time to think about behind bars).

    • Not sure what American gastronomy is given how much we are a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Obviously your taste is the issue – such an arrogant attitude. How much sampling of good cuisine in the US have you done? The US is #5 in terms of Michelin star restaurants and #3 in terms of Michelin 3 star restaurants. Come join me in Nashville and I will help expand your taste horizons in a good way. The we’ll go listen to some Ives…

      • i have always had great food in the states.
        as much coffee as you wish free.
        the best muffins.
        i could go on.

      • Trump is an exemplary sampler of popular American gastronomy . And subsequently spends hours in the can straining and listening to Village People……

    • Thanks, but I don’t think anyone can take gastronomy criticism from the island of jellied eels and chip butty’s seriously.

      • mikhado you are correct the uk diet is not the
        best in the world. when i was in hospital a chinese patient would not eat the steak and kidney pudding.
        can you blame him.

  • I have been a member of one of the worlds major orchestras for more than 40 years. During that time I’ve been fortunate to hear many of the the worlds greatest soloists. Lady Gaga is the real deal … terrific!

  • Lady Gaga was great! I’ll even commit the heresy of saying it was a more compelling rendition that Renee Fleming at the 2014 Super Bowl. Of course the setting – getting our democracy back – might have contributed to that impression.

  • Lady Gaga is a very fine musician and can deliver a song brilliantly and with humility.
    In the national anthem, she had me at that hemiola. Those 5/4 measures later on were wondrous.
    May she have a long and productive life.

  • I’m a 77 yr old woman who loves opera, good music, country, all kinds. I loved Lady Gaga’s rendition of our anthem. She sang it with such pride and joy and love. Got chills and made me cry. Just look at her face. Can’t you see it. I thought hatefulness just left for Florida. Why couldn’t some of you people just be happy for the day! And for you people critizing J Lo’s Let’s Get Loud remark. She was saying let’s get loud that this Land is for you, you, you and me! She wasn’t plugging her song, she doesn’t need to. Everything was beautiful – it’s a new day!
    God bless America and the new President and VPresident!

  • I liked Lady Gaga’s performance. If for no other reason that seeing Pence clutch his pearls and Mother’s hand. All in all it was a joyous occasion for me and my family to see that we finally have a President I can be proud of.

  • I had to quickly mute the sound as the little i heard was ghastly. How can humanity have sunk so low? A couple of generations ago, any of these caterwauling persons would have been hounded off the stage and out of town.

  • I don’t think so. Each one of them has its own talent and preference how they present themselves. I am sure, ssme with others, readiness and wearing something with meaning applied for both of them. Expression of themselves.

    • It’s such a vainglorious dirge I don’t want to hear anyone singing it. He managed to avoid most of the original notes in a tragic attempt to personalise it .

      Who he ?

  • I thought Gaga’s singing topped JLo’s and her arrangements were tons better. I wanted to like J Lo’s two songs, but I just didn’t feel it. Loved the outfit though.

  • I hate when they butcher these songs. Proud of Jennifer, she kept it classy. She sung, she didn’t scream through it. & As for Gaga, it could have been worse. She handled it well. Hunger Games vs Frozen. ❣️

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