January 20th, 2009

Air and Simple Gifts MP3 Download

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I’m happy to share an MP3 of John Williams’ beautiful arrangement, “Air and Simple Gifts”, played moments before Barack Hussein Obama took his oath as the 44th President of the United States. The musical ensemble is nothing to scoff at — the legendary cellist Yo-yo Ma, Israeli-American Itzhak Perlman on the violin, Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero and African-American musician Anthony McGill on the clarinet — put together a masterpiece that will long be remembered throughout history.

Download it here.

If you like it, please Digg the story 😛

Update: I just learned it was pre-recorded. They decided to record the song two days before because they predicted the weather would be too cold for the instruments to play in tune. Still awesome though, right?

Posted in Announcements


  1. 25 Comments

  2. Rob said...

    Thanks Andrew – can I ask how you acquired this? I’d like to share the link, but as a composer myself, I’d feel more comfortable if I knew it was legal and above-board. Thanks.

    Jan 21, 2009

  3. Christopher said...

    Thank you so much for posting this!

    Jan 21, 2009

  4. Juan said...

    Thanks Andrew. This song was awesome.

    Jan 21, 2009

  5. Andrew said...

    @Rob: Hi Rob, I found it on a usenet site. I’m not sure what license is attached to it but I thought it would be something John Williams would like to share with everybody. If you feel unsure about sharing it directly, you can give them my download link instead.

    @Christopher and Juan: You’re welcome 😛

    Jan 22, 2009

  6. Amando said...

    Thanks! I’ve been looking for this. Beautiful piece

    Jan 22, 2009

  7. Charlie said...

    Dugg. Thanks a lot.

    Jan 22, 2009

  8. Katie K said...

    I’ve been looking for an Mp3 of this for days. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Jan 22, 2009

  9. beth said...

    Thank you so very much for sharing this most beautiful and memorable feature of the inauguration. I too have been looking for it since that first broadcast.

    Jan 22, 2009

  10. John said...

    Thanks for sharing this piece. It’s actually based on another piece called “Simple Gifts” composed in or around the 1850’s. The pre-recording certainly explains the high quality of the broadcast audio. 😉

    Jan 23, 2009

  11. Samson Kidha said...

    Andrew – thank you. Watching the inauguration live from E. Africa (home of President Obama Father!) was really moving, and I feel that it was that much more special because the moment he became president, he, like us, was listening to this beautiful piece of music. Even if nothing new happens from now on, change has come, and what a way to herald that change. My congratulations to John Williams, and the extremely talented quartet – and of course to the 44th US President, Barack H. Obama…JaKogelo!!!

    Jan 23, 2009

  12. NStillman said...

    thanks so much:) – the link was very much appreciated

    Jan 23, 2009

  13. Norma said...

    Oh, thank you for helping me relive this moment from the Obama inauguration! I could not hold back my tears as I heard this beautiful and stirring music usher in our new President, Barak Obama. I believe this music exemplifies the excitement, harmony and thoughtfulness he can bring to our world. Air and Simple Gifts will always be remembered as Track 1 of Barak Obama’s presidency.

    Jan 24, 2009

  14. Drew said...

    Thank you for the download. I was looking for this music. It’s beautiful and really captured the feeling of President Obama’s inauguration. It just sounds so hopeful.
    Thanks again, Andrew. By the way, you have a great name LOL

    Jan 25, 2009

  15. Ms. Forest said...

    Thanks you. I had to go to you tube when I wanted to hear!!!!
    LOL Do I owe you 99 cents or the musicians. Better yet tell them I am your cousin and you give it to as a gift.

    Jan 25, 2009

  16. Jr.Guo said...

    Classic,I like it very much,thanks

    Jan 26, 2009

  17. Aldo Noriega said...

    Mr. Williams…
    Waw
    He Did it Again

    Jan 28, 2009

  18. MakeMoneyOnTheSide said...

    Simply Amazing!!!

    Jan 30, 2009

  19. andrew said...

    i was unable to download it please can you help

    Jan 31, 2009

  20. Andrew said...

    @Andrew: try harder 😛

    Jan 31, 2009

  21. Suzi Bakker said...

    Does anyone else see the resemblance between a segment of Air and Simple Gifts and Mouret’s Rondeau?

    Feb 9, 2009

  22. lyn said...

    andrew thank you so muxh for putting this on the web.thanks

    Feb 9, 2009

  23. Kris said...

    Thank you so much for posting this song! I have been trying to find it since the inauguration. I love this song, i think its brilliant. Thanks again!

    Feb 18, 2009

  24. Jim M said...

    If you like this, try Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring Suite” Simple Gifts dominates the main theme…enjoy!

    Feb 24, 2009


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