Speed Reads

last night on late night

Watch Bill Murray recite a secular blessing as cellist Jan Vogler plays 'The Swan' on The Late Show

Americans aren't generally known for their love of poetry or classical music, but Bill Murray — a national treasure — has combined both on a new album, New Worlds, with German cellist Ken Vogler. The two men — who, in classic Murray style, began their collaboration with a chance meeting in an airport security line — are joined by violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez on their album and supporting tour, and all five were on Thursday's night's Late Show. In a bonus performance posted online, Murray recited Lucille Clifton's poem "Blessing the Boats" while Vogler played "The Swan," from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Murray and Vogler's trio have created "a rather wonderful new species of performance art few others would have dreamed up or could have brought off so beautifully," Chicago Tribune classical music critic John von Rhein wrote in his review of their sold-out Chicago show. Certainly, they classed-up The Late Show. The poem, Murray's recitation, and the music are all lovely, and you can watch below. Peter Weber