A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life. Interviews, poetry readings, musical criticism, and more.
Music for a While #81: Pictures, souvenirs & more
Mussorgsky was inspired by some pictures at an exhibition. Mendelssohn, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky, among others, were inspired by their sojourns in Italy. In this podcast, Jay leads an
enjoyable and enriching tour.
Mussorgsky, “Pictures at an Exhibition”
Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 4, Saltarello
Strauss, “Aus Italien,” “Neapolitan Folk Life”
Tchaikovsky, “Capriccio italien”
Verdi, “Va, pensiero,” from “Nabucco”
Mozart, “Ave verum corpus”
Sibelius, “The Swan of Tuonela”
Mozart, “Alleluia” from “Exsultate, jubilate”
Wilfred M. McClay & James Panero in conversation
Executive Editor James Panero sits down with Visiting Critic Wilfred M. McClay to discuss “The burden of the humanities,” the fifth annual Circle Lecture of The New Criterion.
The full text of the speech will be available in the November 2023 issue. For more information about the Circle of The New Criterion, visit newcriterion.com/circle.
Music for a While #80: Telling the time
A phrase has crept up into our political discussion: “to know what time it is.” Jay begins this episode with a Rodgers & Hart song: “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.” Then we have Mozart, Boccherini, Rachmaninoff, Donizetti—a slew of interesting items. The episode ends with Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five.
Rodgers & Hart, arr. Riddle, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”
Mozart, String Quartet in C, K. 465, first movement
Boccherini, Quintet No. 4, “Fandango” movement
Rachmaninoff, Serenade in B-flat minor, Op. 3, No. 5
Donizetti, excerpt from “Poliuto”
Rachmaninoff, “Lilacs,” arranged by the composer for piano
Rachmaninoff, “Lilacs” (song)
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Quintet in F major, Op. 143, first movement
Atkins, “Heebie Jeebies”
Music for a While #79: Flicka-fest
Frederica von Stade—known all over as “Flicka”—is an American mezzo-soprano and one of the greatest singers of our time, or any. Last month, Jay recorded a podcast with her, a “Q&A”: here. She is one of the most versatile singers. What Jay presents here is a sampler.
Mozart, “Ah, perdona al primo affetto,” from “La clemenza di Tito”
Fauré, “La rose”
Trad., arr. Britten, “O Waly, Waly,” “Come You Not from Newcastle?,” “Oliver Cromwell”
Rossini, “Bel raggio lusinghier,” from “Semiramide”
Trad., arr. Canteloube, “Baïlèro,” from “Chants d’Auvergne”
Hall, “Jenny Rebecca”
Berlioz, “L’île inconnu,” from “Les nuits d’été”
Mahler, Symphony No. 4, last movement
Music for a While #78: Musical moments
Several composers have written “moments musicaux,” or “musical moments,” including Schubert and Rachmaninoff. So has a contemporary American, Joshua Nichols. Jay plays a “moment” from each composer. (Actually, Rachmaninoff gets two.) He also plays music from Brazil, etc. The episode ends with a souvenir of the late André Watts.
Rachmaninoff, Moment musical in C major, Op. 16, No. 6
Villa-Lobos, Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Villa-Lobos, “A prole do bebê” (complete)
Nichols, Joshua, Moment musical, “A great slide with a side of funk”
Offenbach, Barcarolle from “The Tales of Hoffmann”
Rachmaninoff, Moments musicaux, Op. 16 (complete)
Verdi, “Non so le tetre immagini,” from “Il corsaro”
Schubert, Moment musical in F minor, Op. 94, No. 3
Music for a While #77: ’Tis of thee
A program of American, or American-ish, music, in honor of Independence Day.
Trad., “My Country, ’Tis of Thee”
Dvorak, String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “American,” final movement
Puccini, “ Dovunque al mondo ,” from “Madama Butterfly”
Joplin, “Gladiolus Rag”
Gershwin, “Summertime,” from “Porgy and Bess”
Gershwin-Wild, Virtuoso Étude on “Liza”
Copland, “Going to Heaven!”
Wheeler, “Isolation Rag”
Bernstein, “Mambo,” from “West Side Story”
Lowry-Copland, “At the River”
Jay’s stunning musical insights
Thanks above all, Jay, for your musical erudition!
Great music and cultural insight
Great music and cultural insight
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