Quartet for the End of a Bad Time

John Williams, film composer extraordinaire, is writing a quartet for the inauguration, but the instrumentation is a little unusual:

Then the new work by Mr. Williams will be played by a classical devotee’s fantasy quartet: Mr. Perlman on violin, Mr. Ma on cello, Gabriela Montero on piano and Anthony McGill on clarinet.

Hmm. Violin, cello, piano, and clarinet. I wonder whether that’s been done before?

UPDATE 2008-12-18 8:52 PM: I see that Alex Ross beat me to the punch. Here’s Alex Ross on Messiaen. Here’s Alex Ross on John Williams. Here’s the other Alex Ross on Obama.

Great post title.