Declan Walsh is a veteran foreign correspondent, whom Jay has read and cited for years. Walsh has reported from many spots, most of them troubled – very. He has recently been Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times. Now he is in Africa for that paper. He has just written a book about Pakistan (a country from which he was expelled). Jay tours the world with Declan Walsh – or a bit of it – starting with the reporter’s growing up in Ireland.

Harvey Mansfield, the professor of government and political philosopher at Harvard, is one of the great teachers in America. He does some splendid teaching in this hour with Jay. He talks about manliness – what it is and what it isn’t. (Mansfield published a book on the subject in 2006.) He talks about “conservative” and “liberal” – what do those things mean? He addresses the question, posed long ago, of whether we can keep our republic. In all, a rich and enriching hour, requiring not a cent in tuition.

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 “Rusalka”
Howard, “Fly Me to the Moon
Jones, “The Streetbeater
Cannibal Corpse, “Frantic Disembowelment
Villa-Lobos, “Punch,” from “The Baby’s Family”
Villa-Lobos, “Lullaby” from “The Baby’s Family”
Bruckner, Symphony No. 4

In these post-election days, Jay wanted to talk to his old friend and colleague Robert Costa: national political reporter of the Washington Post; analyst for NBC News and MSNBC; host of PBS’s “Washington Week.” They do indeed talk it over: R’s, D’s, media, inaugurations, and more. Costa is a man who knows – because he finds out.

A wide-ranging conversation with Sally Jenkins, columnist of the Washington Post, and David French, senior editor of The Dispatch. An NBA season. A Major League Baseball season. College football, sort of. A Masters tournament in November. Should there be a college sports major? And more. Two seasoned and eloquent gurus, questioned by Jay.

In the middle of the World Series, you want to talk baseball with George F. Will. You want to talk baseball with him anytime, actually, and a number of other subjects, too. In this “Q&A,” Will speaks of the “angelic, superb Mookie Betts,” of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also talks about the presidential campaign, the Supreme Court, and the Republican Party. There’s Big Tech, too. Is it to be feared? Well, one behemoth replaces another. A&P had thousands of stores in the middle of town; then Piggly Wiggly set up stores on the outskirts of town, which was bad news for the other guys. Jay asks Will some personal questions: about David Brinkley and Sam Donaldson, for example. He also asks him about Lincoln (whom Will values highly, as does Jay): What might Lincoln have to say to us today? A well-rounded, invigorating conversation.

Earlier this month, Bret Stephens wrote a searching essay on the New York Times’s 1619 Project. Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times himself. The 1619 Project places slavery at the center of the American founding (and thus of America). With Jay, Stephens talks about this, and much else: the presidential campaign, the Middle East, New York City, and more. Bret Stephens won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. Jay often says that he wishes he could give Stephens a second one.

Cameron Hilditch is a writer for National Review, born in 1998, as the Troubles wound down: the Troubles in Northern Ireland. This Northern Irishman is a “child of the peace,” as he says. He went to Magdalen College, Oxford. He has a great love for the United States, and a great knowledge about it (and other things). Jay asks him about Northern Ireland, America, democracy, and a lot more. You can learn a lot from this young man, and he is a delight to listen to. You may even want to hear the podcast twice.

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 “quarantine rag.”

Trad., “The Parting Glass
Parker or Davis, “Donna Lee
Verdi, “Parmi veder le lagrime,” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto”
Glow-Worm
Schmidt, Adagio from Quintet in A major
Mosca, Kristen, “Quarantine Rag
Bernstein, “I Am Easily Assimilated,” from “Candide”
Lovett, “If I Had a Boat
Purcell, “Dido’s Lament,” from “Dido and Aeneas”

There was once a movie called “Divorce American Style.” David French was going to title his new book “The Great American Divorce.” But the title is “Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.” David and Jay are old friends and comrades, and they talk about the issues raised in the book – plus the Afghan War, the NBA, and more.

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 Concerto
Trad., “Shenandoah
Brahms, Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8
Bach, “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,” from St. Matthew Passion

Thomas Kent is a veteran, estimable journalist. He held many positions with the Associated Press, including Moscow bureau chief and international editor. He was the president and CEO of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. And he is the author of a new book: “Striking Back: Overt and Covert Options to Combat Russian Disinformation.” Kent knows all about it: the ins and outs, the pros and cons. It’s a pleasure to be in the hands of a real expert, on an important topic.

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”

Without a family at age twelve, Joseph Kim was out on the streets for three years. Homeless. Begging. Stealing. Trying to stay alive. With incredible good fortune – and his own bravery – he managed to escape and get to the United States. He wrote a book called “Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America.” He is now with the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. Amazing fellow.

There is almost no one Jay would rather talk with than Natan Sharansky: one of the great heroes of the 20th century (much as he may demur to this) and a force in the 21st. With Gil Troy, Sharansky has written a book called “Never Alone.” It is a memoir of his years in the Gulag; his years in Israeli politics; and his years at the helm of the Jewish Agency. With Jay, Sharansky discusses the past, the present, and the future – in Israel, America, and all over. A most stimulating conversation. Jay says that it is moving to talk with Sharansky, and you may find it moving to hear him.

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

Previously, Jay did a “Q&A” with Ondrej Kolar, a district mayor of Prague. Kolar has required police protection, after angering the Kremlin and its supporters in his own country. This “Q&A” is with the overall mayor — or the lord mayor — of Prague: Zdenek Hrib. He, too, has angered the Kremlin, requiring police protection. He has angered the Chinese government, too. Hrib is a man who cares about human rights and general liberal-democratic values. Get to know him a little.

Jamie Fly is a veteran foreign-policy hand. When he was coming of age, his views were shaped by the Reagan experience. He went on to work in the White House, the Pentagon, and elsewhere. Until recently, he was president of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. He knows a great deal about Russian disinformation, and other disinformation, and how to combat it. With Jay, he talks about this and the world at large. An informative conversation.

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

Quin Hillyer is a veteran political writer who has stuck several toes in politics himself. He was a page at the 1980 Republican National Convention. He was around for a very big scoop. He later worked for Louisiana congressman Bob Livingston. He was part of the effort to block the ascension of David Duke. He went to Georgetown University, where one of his teachers was Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Quin and Jay talk of many things – starting with New Orleans, where Quin grew up (and which Jay loves, and knows a little). They talk about political ideas. They talk about Confederate monuments, a sore, delicate, and important subject. Finally, they talk about one of their favorite people in sports, and one of their favorite people on earth: Jack Nicklaus.