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Jay Nordlinger

Jay Nordlinger has written about music for The New Criterion since 2000. He is a senior editor of National Review and a fellow of the National Review Institute. He does two podcasts: Music for a While and Q&A. Since 2002, he has hosted a series of public interviews at the Salzburg Festival.

Nordlinger is the author of two books from Encounter: Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World and Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators. National Review Books has published two collections of his journalism: Here, There & Everywhere and Digging In.

A native of Michigan, Nordlinger has long lived in New York.

July 15, 2021

Music for a While #48: Bach and Bach-ish

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Jay has a piece by Bach, and one of his best. He has another piece once attributed to Bach. And he has a third piece that may or not be—by the master, that is. In any case, wonderful music, and a highly interesting program.

Bach?-Stokowski, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Stölzel (formerly attributed to Bach), “Bist du bei mir”
Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538

June 30, 2021

Music for a While #47: Just perfect

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When Jay says “just perfect,” in this episode, he is referring to Marilyn Horne’s singing of “At the River.” This is the piece that ends the podcast. It’s a little Independence Day nod. Elsewhere, Jay discusses and plays a Debussy song, two famous guitar pieces, and a piano piece by Frederic Rzewski, the American composer (also a political radical), recently deceased. A neat, varied, interesting, and enriching program.

Debussy, “La mer est plus belle que les cathédrales
Villa-Lobos, Prelude No. 5
Rzewski, “Down by the Riverside
Barrios, “Julia Florida
Lowry, arr. Copland, “At the River

June 17, 2021

Music for a While #46: Bach, beekeeping, and more

Subscribe to The New Criterion’s podcast series via Apple or Google.

This episode begins with a poem, first published in The New Criterion, in 2002: Charles Tomlinson’s “If Bach had been a beekeeper.” It speaks of “the honey of C major.” We then duly hear some Bach in C major. We also hear a famous aria—an aria made famous by a movie. And “Estrellita,” in two different versions: the original song, plus what Heifetz did to it, or rather, for it. The podcast includes other appetizing items as well. A fine smorgasbord.

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C major, “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” Book 2
Catalani, “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana,” from “La Wally”
Ponce-Heifetz, “Estrellita
Coleridge-Taylor, “You Lay So Still in Sunshine
Milhaud, “Love, My Heart
Shostakovich, Piano Concerto No. 2, first movement
Ponce, “Estrellita


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