A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life. Interviews, poetry readings, musical criticism, and more.
Music for a While #66: September songs
True to the title of this episode, Jay has September songs: classical (Strauss and Ives, for example); popular (Earth, Wind & Fire!); and in between (Weill). A wonderful and timely bouquet.
Weill-Anderson, “September Song”
Schmidt-Jones, “Try to Remember”
Earth, Wind & Fire, “September”
Music for a While #65: Moods, indigo and not
As you can tell from the heading, Jay plays “Mood Indigo” in this episode—or rather, Ella Fitzgerald sings it. There is more jazz at the end, as the Oscar Peterson Trio does up “Tangerine.” This episode also includes an aria by Puccini—two versions of it. Then there is a rare and wonderful tone poem by Liszt. And more. Highly interesting, and nourishing.
Chopin, Etude in C minor, Op. 10, No 2 (“Revolutionary”)
Ellington, “Mood Indigo”
Puccini, “Aria di Rinuccio” from “Gianni Schicchi” (in Italian)
Puccini, “Rinuccio’s Aria,” from “Gianni Schicchi” (in English)
Liszt, Symphonic Poem No. 13, “From the Cradle to the Grave”
Puccini, “Senza mamma” from “Suor Angelica”
Music for a While #64: Horne-o-rama
This summer, Jay had a long talk with Marilyn Horne, the great mezzo-soprano, resulting in a piece called “A Life of Singing.” He thought a podcast, to accompany the piece, would be good. You may well agree. Tracks of various types, showing the versatility, and the heart, of this extraordinary singer.
Mahler, “Liebst du um Schönheit,” from “Rückert-Lieder”
Bizet, “Dat’s Love” (Habanera), from “Carmen Jones”
Schubert, “Die junge Nonne”
Wolf, “Auf einer Wanderung”
Wagner, “Träume,” from “Wesendonck-Lieder”
Rossini, “Tanti affetti in tal momento!” from “La donna del lago”
Bizet, “Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe”
Bernstein, “Somewhere,” from “West Side Story”
Trad., arr. Davis, “Shenandoah”
Malotte, “The Lord’s Prayer”
Music for a While #63: Little things, big things
This episode begins with Mozart—a movement from a piano sonata. It ends with a popular song, from the mid-1950s: “Little Things Mean a Lot.” In between are wonders and curiosities—including the Orientalist song on which the James Bond theme is based.
Mozart, Allegretto from Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” arranged by Stravinsky
“The Tahiti Trot,” an arrangement by Shostakovich of “Tea for Two”
Norman, Monty, “Bad Sign, Good Sign”
Norman, Monty, “The James Bond Theme”
Stutz-Lindeman, “Little Things Mean a Lot”
Music for a While #62: Beyond the sabre
Jay presents a program of music by Aram Khachaturian. You get the “Sabre Dance,” sure, from the ballet “Gayane.” But plenty more, too. Very interesting fellow, Khachaturian.
All tracks by Aram Khachaturian
Waltz from “Masquerade” (orchestra)
Suite from “Gayane”
Adagio from “Spartacus”
Waltz from “Masquerade” (piano)
Music for a While #61: “Just about the best thing ever”
Sometimes Jay indulges in hyperbole—but the hyperbole is not far off. In this episode, he calls Dawn Upshaw’s 1989 recording of “No word from Tom” (Stravinsky) “just about the best thing ever.” You may well agree. He begins the episode with another “just about the best thing ever”: Leontyne Price in “Summertime” (Gershwin), live in Munich, 1968. Also on the menu are Mozart, Bridge, Medtner, and Szymanowski. A winning line-up.
Gershwin, “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess”
Mozart, String Quartet No. 2 in D major, K. 155
Medtner, Fairy Tale No. 3
Bridge, “Allegro appassionato”
Szymanowski, Violin Concerto No. 2
Stravinsky, “No word from Tom” from “The Rake’s Progress”
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Jay does a great job putting together varied selections & genres. Really knowledgeable guy.