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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.

January 18, 2021

Music for a While #40: Entering into heaven

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In 1913, Vachel Lindsay wrote “General William Booth Enters into Heaven.” It speaks of the founder of the Salvation Army. Peggy Noonan cited this poem in a recent column. In 1914, Charles Ives set the poem to music. You will hear it in this episode. Also a Beatles concerto (yes), a rag by an early Metropolitan Opera soprano (yes), some American standards, and, at the end, transcendent Mahler. Jay plays off a good amount of reader mail. An amazingly eclectic, interesting episode.

Shchedrin, Piano Concerto No. 1
Robison, “Think Well of Me
Rutter, “Beatles Concerto,” first movement
Pinkard-Alexander-Mitchell, “Sugar
Ives, “General William Booth Enters into Heaven
Pinkard-Bernie-Casey, “Sweet Georgia Brown
Case, “Metropolitan Rag
Handel, “Rejoice greatly,” from “Messiah”
Mahler, Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”

December 23, 2020

Music for a While #39: Sounds of Christmas

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

 Jay has an assortment for you—some Bach, some jazz, some Russian, some French, a spiritual . . . It all ends with a thrilling “First Nowell.”

Bach, “Jauchzet, frohlocket,” Christmas Oratorio
Berlin, “White Christmas
Bach, “Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen,” Christmas Oratorio
Gauntlett, “Once in Royal David’s City
Trad., “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Chesnokov, “Gabriel Appeared
Trad., “Il est né, le divin Enfant
Trad., “Somebody Talkin’ ’bout Jesus
Trad., “The First Nowell

December 17, 2020

Music for a While #38: Bits and pieces

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

This episode is a real smorgasbord—works, mainly short, by Domenico Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff, Duparc, Stravinsky, Jonathan Dove, and Jerome Kern, among others. A tasty, diverse spread. You may well want it all.

Scarlatti, D., Sonata in G, K. 14
Rachmaninoff, Andante, Cello Sonata
Duparc, Lento, Cello Sonata
Lachenmann, “Five Variations on a Theme by Franz Schubert
Stravinsky, Piece for Solo Clarinet
Shostakovich, Impromptu (for viola and piano)
Dove, “Fair Ship,” from “Under Alter’d Skies”
Kern-Tatum, “The Way You Look Tonight


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