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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.

September 18, 2020

Music for a While #34: Twelve, sixteen, and other ages

Mozart wrote his “Orphanage Mass” when he was twelve. Pretty good. Mendelssohn wrote his Octet in E flat when he was sixteen. Really good. Jay provides excerpts from these works, and also presents Chopin and Argerich, Strauss and Davidsen, and more. As the episode begins with Mozart, it ends with Mozart: a heavenly soprano aria from some vespers. You could well nigh ascend.

Mozart, Mass in C minor (“Waisenhausmesse”), K. 139
Mendelssohn, Octet in E flat
Chopin, Largo, Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58
Strauss, “Cäcilie
Strauss, “Ruhe, meine Seele!
Mozart, “Laudate Dominum omnes gentes,” from “Vesperae solennes de confessore”

September 04, 2020

Music for a While #33: ‘Great are companions such as these’

That is a line from a hymn. Jay says it must apply to Bach’s Cello Suites, which players of that instrument get to live with all life long—through good times and (maybe most important) bad. Of course, all of the pieces on this program may be called “great companions”: from the pens of composers famous and obscure. An appetizing, companionable episode.

Bach, Allegro assai, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
Bach-Rachmaninoff, Preludio, Violin Partita in E major
Tchaikovsky-Wild, Pas de quatre, “Swan Lake”
Bach, Sarabande, Cello Suite in C minor
Mancini, “Quanto dolce è quell’ardore
Dalza, “Calata ala spagnola
Monteverdi, “Quel sguardo sdegnosetto
Price, F., “Down a Southern Lane
Trad., arr. F. Price, “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord

August 24, 2020

Music for a While #32: Gettin’ jiggy

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Jay begins with a gigue, a jig, by Leclair. We also have Haydn, Brahms, and Penderecki. (The Brahms is played by Leon Fleisher, the great American pianist who has died in recent days.) There are also two items from the American Songbook—one of them sung by Jack Teagarden, the other by Frank Sinatra. This episode ends with a spiritual, a powerhouse.

Leclair, Jean-Marie the Elder, Gigue from the Violin Concerto in B flat, Op. 10, No. 1

Haydn, Presto from Piano Sonata in G, H. XVI:40

McHugh/Adamson, “Where Are You?

Penderecki, Chaconne from “Polish Requiem”

Brahms, Rondo from Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor

Whiting/Mercer, “Too Marvelous for Words

Trad., “Soon I Will Be Done with the Trouble of the World” (sung in recital by Latonia Moore)


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