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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.

April 08, 2021

Music for a While #43: Embraceability

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This episode ends with “Embraceable You,” the Gershwin song—but in a piano arrangement by Earl Wild. An extraordinary thing. The episode begins with some Bach—the same piece, more or less, two different ways. Jay also has some music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, known by some as “the African Mahler.” There is a story, too, about French horn playing. Does your pulse race when you have a big solo? You bet it does. Much to savor here.

Bach, Prelude in E minor from Book I of “The Well-Tempered Clavier”
Bach-Siloti, Prelude in B minor
Coleridge-Taylor, Clarinet Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op. 10, first movement
Dove, “Departure,” from “Airport Scenes”
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5, slow movement
Gershwin-Wild, “Embraceable You

February 28, 2021

Music for a While #42: From a toast to a prayer

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Jay begins with a toast from “La rondine,” Puccini’s opera; he ends with “The Lord’s Prayer,” sung by Leontyne Price on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Lots in between, of course: including tributes to the jazz pianist and composer Claude Bolling; the jazz guitarist Pat Metheny; and the organist John Weaver. A delicious program.

Puccini, “Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso,” from “La rondine”
Fauré, “Reflets dans l’eau
Bolling, “Baroque and Blue,” from Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano
Prokofiev, Piano Sonata No. 7
Metheny, “Have You Heard
Weaver, Variation on “Sine Nomine”
Malotte, “The Lord’s Prayer

February 03, 2021

Music for a While #41: Well-tempered and Catalan

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

What a strange title. What could it mean? That Jay addresses “The Well-Tempered Clavier” (both books), that masterpiece by Bach. And that he addresses music by Catalan composers. A successful mixture, we think you will find.

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C major, “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” Book II
Montsalvatge, two songs from “Cinco canciones negras
Mompou, “Secreto,” from “Impresiones íntimas”
Mompou, “Damunt de tu només les flors,” from “Combat del somni”
Fábregas, Elisenda, “Pluja brodada,” from “Imitació del foc”
Bach, Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor, “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” Book I
Bach, “Gigue” Fugue in G major


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