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Alicia Keys’s ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Orchestral Version Plucks Heartstrings

It’s not Bridgerton if there is no orchestral version of a pop song. Shonda Rhimes’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, the latest entry in the sprawling Netflix costume-drama universe, one-ups its own formula by giving fans a live music video for Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You” orchestral arrangement. In the show, we hear the instrumental version, which is all well and good, but the music video contains an all-women-of-color orchestra, a Regency-era dress code (gowns — beautiful gowns), a 19th-century English ballroom, plus the added bonus of Keys on the keys, lending her signature vocals. The visuals are lush. Black women painted with dramatic makeup wear pantaloons and lacy corsets to create editorial tableaux reminiscent of a Beyoncé visual album. The camera pans over each section of the symphony and its Black woman conductor. The harpists, cellists, percussionists, and more — playing in harmony as the piece hits its crescendo — wear Empire waists and satin gloves. There’s another reason for the gathering: the 20th anniversary of “If I Ain’t Got You.” It’s high time we had another version of the touching classic to move us to tears yet again. We can feed on this until we get Renaissance images.

Cry to Alicia Keys’s ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Orchestral Version