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Jay has a piece by Bach, and one of his best. He has another piece once attributed to Bach. And he has a third piece that may or not be—by the master, that is. In any case, wonderful music, and a highly interesting program.Bach?-Stokowski, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565Stölzel (formerly attributed to Bach), “Bist du bei mir”Bach, Toccata and…
 
When Jay says “just perfect,” in this episode, he is referring to Marilyn Horne’s singing of “At the River.” This is the piece that ends the podcast. It’s a little Independence Day nod. Elsewhere, Jay discusses and plays a Debussy song, two famous guitar pieces, and a piano piece by Frederic Rzewski, the American composer (also a political radical)…
 
This episode begins with a poem, first published in The New Criterion, in 2002: Charles Tomlinson’s “If Bach had been a beekeeper.” It speaks of “the honey of C major.” We then duly hear some Bach in C major. We also hear a famous aria—an aria made famous by a movie. And “Estrellita,” in two different versions: the original song, plus what Heifetz …
 
On May 26, 2021, Mene Ukueberuwa addressed a gathering of the Young Friends of The New Criterion in New York. Listen to his remarks on the state of American journalism and what it means to do journalism well. Mene is introduced by Roger Kimball, Editor of The New Criterion, with prefatory remarks by Executive Editor James Panero.Mene works as an ed…
 
Jay provides a program of songs and arias about spring: a variety of composers and languages. And performers. Maria Callas and Ella Fitzgerald are among them. This is a wonderful category of music: rhapsodic, hopeful, giddy, appreciative. Spring it up.Argento, “Spring,” from “Six Elizabethan Songs”Hahn, “Le printemps”Strauss, “Der Lenz”Wagner, “Du …
 
In this episode, Jay begins with some playing by Maxim Lando, a teenage pianist. There is also a solo-violin piece by John Corigliano: “Stomp.” At the end, Jay pays tribute to Christa Ludwig, one of the greatest singers of all time, who has passed away at 93. In a life of interviewing, he has been starstruck very few times, he says. He was by Chris…
 
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. …
 
“Like many adult pleasures, poetry is an acquired taste. We don’t grow up surrounded by it, the way we do pop music and movies, whose conventions become second nature. Rather, poetry is to our usual ways of reading and writing as classical music is to pop, or as ballet is to dancing at parties.”That’s from “On ‘getting’ poetry,” a feature essay in …
 
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…
 
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 IIMontsalvatge, two songs from “Cinco canciones negras”M…
 
In 1913, Vachel Lindsay wrote “General William Booth Enters into Heaven.” It speaks of the founder of the Salvation Army. Peggy Noonan cited this poem in a recent column. In 1914, Charles Ives set the poem to music. You will hear it in this episode. Also a Beatles concerto (yes), a rag by an early Metropolitan Opera soprano (yes), some American sta…
 
Jay has an assortment for you—some Bach, some jazz, some Russian, some French, a spiritual . . . It all ends with a thrilling “First Nowell.”Bach, “Jauchzet, frohlocket,” Christmas OratorioBerlin, “White Christmas”Bach, “Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen,” Christmas OratorioGauntlett, “Once in Royal David’s City”Trad., “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”Chesno…
 
James Panero, Benjamin Riley & Andrew L. Shea discuss the 2020 art issue and look ahead to 2021.Read “Albert Pinkham Ryder: isolato of the brush,” by Andrew L. Shea:https://newcriterion.com/issues/2020/12/albert-pinkham-ryder-isolato-of-the-brushRead Benjamin Riley’s interview with Clive Aslet & Dylan Thomas:https://newcriterion.com/issues/2020/12/…
 
This episode is a real smorgasbord—works, mainly short, by Domenico Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff, Duparc, Stravinsky, Jonathan Dove, and Jerome Kern, among others. A tasty, diverse spread. You may well want it all.Scarlatti, D., Sonata in G, K. 14Rachmaninoff, Andante, Cello SonataDuparc, Lento, Cello SonataLachenmann, “Five Variations on a Theme by Fra…
 
In honor of the recent “blue moon,” Jay plays four songs about the moon—two classical, two popular. He also has some Quincy Jones, some Cannibal Corpse (yup), some Villa-Lobos, and some Bruckner. Complain if you will, but not about a lack of variety.Rodgers & Hart, “Blue Moon”Bellini, “Vaga luna, che inargenti”Dvořák, “Song to the Moon,” from “Rusa…
 
That’s what Dido sings in Purcell’s opera, about her and Aeneas: “Remember me!” Jay is reminded of this when filling out forms on the Internet. In this episode, he plays Dido, plus Charlie Parker, Franz Schmidt, Leonard Bernstein, Lyle Lovett, and others. An unusually eclectic show—which also brings the Op. 1 by a young woman from Las Vegas: a “qua…
 
That’s a lot to promise in one humble music podcast, isn’t it? Greatness, consolation, and transcendence? But it is truth in advertising.Handel, “Dopo notte atra e funesta,” from Handel’s “Ariodante”Pärt, “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten”Mozart, Clarinet ConcertoTrad., “Shenandoah”Brahms, Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8Bach, “Mache dich, me…
 
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. Y…
 
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 epi…
 
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 powerhous…
 
The title of this episode pretty much tells the story: Jay discusses, plays, and celebrates piano duets.Schubert, “Marche militaire” No. 1 in D major, Op. 51, No. 1Debussy, “En bateau,” from the “Petite Suite”Mendelssohn, Andante and Allegro brillante, Op. 92Mozart, Concerto for Two Pianos in E flatDi The New Criterion
 
Actually, Jay says “an ingenious, joyful jolt.” He is speaking of the Toccata in G by Théodore Dubois. That’s how the podcast begins. We also get Grieg (and a memory of a TV game show, long ago). Lead Belly (singing “Study War No More”). Mozart, Hahn, and “America” — a fugue on “America,” which is also known as “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” (and as “G…
 
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 Sketch…
 
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, T…
 
In a new podcast from The New Criterion, Eric Gibson and James Panero discuss sculpture in exile and culture under siege.Eric Gibson's book "The Necessity of Sculpture: Selected Essays and Criticism, 1985–2019" can be found at https://newcriterion.com/bookstore?mode=criterion.Cover photo: the recently defaced Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston, M…
 
“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.Rachmaninoff, “Spri…
 
Jay begins with some festive music: specifically, the “Festive Overture” of Shostakovich. He has a showtune: “Some Other Time.” He has an Aretha Franklin hit, about zoomin’. He has a spiritual: “Ain’t Got Time to Die.” Some French organ music. And more. He ends with Karel Ančerl, the great Czech conductor who endured horror and produced much beauty…
 
Jay plays some music by a Bach son. There is also Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, and other composers. The episode ends with a tribute to Rosalind Elias, the late American mezzo-soprano: the thirteenth and last child of Lebanese immigrants.Tracks played:Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Rondo II in C minorSaint-Saëns, “Aimons-nous”Beethoven, Sonata …
 
Jay’s previous episode was devoted to music of spring. As he points out, it’s still spring—and there’s a lot of spring music out there. So he goes a second round. This round serves up Schubert, Mahler, Copland, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and more. A colorful, happy bouquet.Tracks played:Argento, “Spring”Schumann, “Spring” SymphonyMahler, “Frühlingsmorg…
 
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