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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 01, 2020

Music for a While #29: America: plenty good room

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In honor of Independence Day, Jay does an all American program: ending with “Plenty Good Room,” the spiritual. He begins with some ballet, cowboy style: “Hoe Down” (Copland). Along the way, we have songs, piano pieces, an aria, some bluegrass—Happy Fourth, to all.

Copland, “Hoe-Down,” from “Rodeo”

MacDowell, “By a Meadow Brook,” from “Woodland Sketches”

Beach, “Ah, Love, but a Day

Wheeler, Scott, “Isolation Rag

Hoiby, “Lady of the Harbor

Meyer, Edgar, et al. (?), “Death by Triple Fiddle

Floyd, “Ain’t It a Pretty Night?” from “Susannah”

Gershwin-Heifetz, Prelude in C-sharp Minor

Trad., “Plenty Good Room

June 23, 2020

Music for a While #28: Poems, songs, and shouts

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This episode begins with a shout—“a shout of joy on the organ,” Jay says. It also has a poem, written and recited by Langston Hughes. And a song, setting that same poem. The episode includes a little Broadway—and other curiosities, finds, and wonders. Enjoy “music for a while.”

Hughes-Manz, “God of Grace and God of Glory

Langston Hughes, “I, Too

Margaret Bonds, “I, Too

Frederic Rzewski, “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

Coleman-Stewart, “Thank God I’m Old

Herbert Murrill, “Carillon

Handel, “O Lord, whose mercies numberless,” from Saul

Trad., arr. Bonds, “This Little Light o’ Mine

June 10, 2020

Music for a While #27: Vexed and unvexed

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

“Got a real smorgasbord for you,” says Jay—“even more than usual. An almost wacky variety.” He begins with Rachmaninoff, turns to Satie, then to a classic American song, then to Satie again, then to Penderecki, and on to Fauré and Busoni (no, not Bach-Busoni). Some interesting issues, points, personalities, and, of course, music.

Tracks played:

Rachmaninoff, “Spring Waters

Satie, “Vexations

Androzzo, Alma Bazel, “If I Can Help Somebody

Satie, “Gymnopédie

Penderecki, “La Follia

Fauré, “Le secret

Busoni, “Berceuse


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