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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.

November 15, 2019

Music for a While #13: Rustles, hisses, and slogs

Jay ends with “Rustle of Spring,” the piano piece by Christian Sinding. It used to be universally known. It deserved to be. Jay also plays Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Shostakovich, Amy Beach, Havergal Brian, and Jörg Widmann. He tells some stories, makes some points. A rich and diverse world, music.

Tracks played:

Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1

Brian, Double Fugue in E flat

Widmann, “Con brio

Brahms, Violin Concerto

Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5 (Bernstein, New York Philharmonic)

Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5 (Maazel, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Beach, “Ah, Love, but a Day

Sinding, “Rustle of Spring

October 29, 2019

Music for a While #12: Holy stuff (and other stuff)

When Harriet Cohen finishes playing her arrangement of Bach’s “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier,” Jay says, “Holy stuff.” There is other stuff too in this episode: including “Tain’t What You Do (It’s How You Do It).” There may also be a little Beach Boys, classically performed. Jay likes that opening Bach piece so much, he ends with it, too: in a different version.

Bach-Cohen, “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

Gluck, “Che farò senza Euridice?”

Oliver and Young, “Tain’t What You Do (It’s How You Do It)

Feinberg, Piano Sonata No. 3

Bernstein, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Wilson and Love, “Good Vibrations” (sung by the King’s Singers)

Grieg-Ginzburg, “In the Hall of the Mountain King

Bach–Swingle Singers, “Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

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


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