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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. Since 2002, he has hosted a series of public interviews at the Salzburg Festival. He does a podcast with Mona Charen called Need to Know. He also does a podcast called Q&A. In 2011, he filmed The Human Parade, with Jay Nordlinger, a TV series bringing hour-long interviews with various personalities.

He 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 Nordlinger’s writings: Here, There & Everywhere and Digging In.

A native of Michigan, Nordlinger has long lived in New York. His podcast with The New Criterion, titled “Music for a While,” can be found here.

September 30, 2019

Music for a While: Pure Joy

That’s what Jay calls a Bach piece arranged for organ by Jean Guillou: pure joy. There is some more pure joy in this episode too—including the final movement of Brahms’s Horn Trio, which Jay plays to honor Myron Bloom, the great French-horn player who died on September 26. He also honors, at the end, Christopher Rouse, the American composer, who died on September 21. Music, said Rouse, in a statement to be issued after his passing, “has given me life and a reason for living.”

Jay also plays some Ella Fitzgerald, some Leontyne Price, and more. There is also a tale from opera lore: about Rudolf Bing and George Szell, who were too big for the same town.

Tracks played:

Bach-Guillou, Sinfonia

Beethoven, “Pastoral” Symphony

Brahms, Horn Trio

Gershwin, “They Can’t Take That Away from Me

Chopin, “Winter Wind” Etude

Barber, “Knoxville:  Summer of 1915

Rouse, Symphony No. 3

September 18, 2019

Music for a While: Who Cares?

Jay does, and you will too. “Who Cares?” is a Gershwin song, which Gershwin arranged for piano (alone). Jay has André Watts play this. He later has Ella Fitzgerald sing the song, accompanied by another André, Previn. In between, he talks about Gabriel Fauré, and plays him. He talks about Arcadi Volodos, than whom there is no better pianist in the world, Jay says. We hear Volodos in Bach – Bach arranged by Samuil Feinberg, an earlier Russian pianist. We hear more Bach, played by Feinberg himself. And some Callas. And some Offenbach. A wonderful menu of music, with tasty comments to go with it.

Tracks played:

Gershwin, “Who Cares?,” arranged for piano by the composer

Fauré, Violin and Piano Sonata No. 2, third movement

Bach-Feinberg, Largo from Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 5, BWV 529, for organ

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C major, Book II, The Well-Tempered Clavier

Cherubini, “Dei tuoi figli la madre,” from Medea

Offenbach, “Galop infernal” (“Can-Can”), from Orpheus in the Underworld

Gershwin, “Who Cares?,” performed by Ella Fitzgerald, André Previn, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

September 03, 2019

Music for a While: Festival Time

As Jay tells us at the beginning, he has been reviewing from two summer festivals: the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York) and the Salzburg Festival, in Mozart’s hometown. He discusses and plays a variety of music performed at these festivals: Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Enescu—and Mozart, for sure.

Tracks played:

Mozart, Overture to The Magic Flute

Mendelssohn, Variations sérieuses

Beethoven, Violin Concerto

Enescu, Octet

Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, K. 595

Handel, “Tornami a vagheggiar,” from Alcina

Handel, “Verdi prati,” from Alcina

Haydn, Symphony No. 88

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