NEW YORK (AP) -- Gabriela Montero says she and the other members of the Obama inauguration quartet were not trying to fool anybody by having recorded music played in the biting cold. Shaken by comparisons to lip-syncers Milli Vanilli, the pianist insists she and fellow musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Anthony McGill "did the right thing." "What is upsetting me these days is the fact that we put so much love into this, with a very profound desire to make it so beautiful," the Venezuelan-American pianist said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Boston. "My only regret is that, unfortunately, some people have chosen to focus on the wrong thing." Just before Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20 with temperatures in the 20s, the quartet appeared to play "Air and Simple Gifts," a short work composed for the occasion by John Williams. Montero said the quartet actually did play, but the music was drowned out by the amplified music. The group recorded the work two days earlier but still intended to play it live, she said. A day before the inauguration, about half a dozen keys on the Steinway were sticking, and the piano was not projecting enough sound, Montero said. "We decided that it would have been a disaster if we went out there with that cold, with the wind, and played our instruments out of tune," she said. "Can you imagine what kind of tone it would have set? ... It would absolutely have been a pathetic way to lead a president into his oath and the moment that this country was waiting for so eagerly." Would she do anything different? "I thought, `Should there have been an announcement?' But there wasn't the right time to announce something like that," Montero said. "We were so excited and so happy, and we still are," she said. "We're very sure we did the right thing as professional musicians."
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