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 standards, and, at the end, transcendent Mahler. Jay plays off a good amount of reader mail. An amazingly eclectic, interesting episode.

Shchedrin, Piano Concerto No. 1
Robison, “Think Well of Me
Rutter, “Beatles Concerto,” first movement
Pinkard-Alexander-Mitchell, “Sugar
Ives, “General William Booth Enters into Heaven
Pinkard-Bernie-Casey, “Sweet Georgia Brown
Case, “Metropolitan Rag
Handel, “Rejoice greatly,” from “Messiah”
Mahler, Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”

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 Oratorio
Berlin, “White Christmas
Bach, “Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen,” Christmas Oratorio
Gauntlett, “Once in Royal David’s City
Trad., “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Chesnokov, “Gabriel Appeared
Trad., “Il est né, le divin Enfant
Trad., “Somebody Talkin’ ’bout Jesus
Trad., “The First Nowell

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. 14
Rachmaninoff, Andante, Cello Sonata
Duparc, Lento, Cello Sonata
Lachenmann, “Five Variations on a Theme by Franz Schubert
Stravinsky, Piece for Solo Clarinet
Shostakovich, Impromptu (for viola and piano)
Dove, “Fair Ship,” from “Under Alter’d Skies”
Kern-Tatum, “The Way You Look Tonight

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

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”

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

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”

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

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

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. 1

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 “God Save the Queen” by some of our cousins).

Dubois, Toccata in 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”

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, Too”
Margaret Bonds, “I, Too”
Frederic Rzewski, “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!”
Coleman-Stewart, “Thank God I’m Old”
Herbert Murrill, “Carillon”
Handel, “O Lord, whose mercies numberless,” from “Saul”
Trad., arr. Bonds, “This Little Light o’ Mine”

“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, “Spring Waters

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 and brilliance.

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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.

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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.

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Jay has seven pieces—songs, an opera aria, a piano piece, a violin sonata, and a violin concerto. All in honor of spring. It has sprung, whether the pandemic likes it or not. Happy spring, everyone.

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The title of this episode pretty much tells its story. Jay plays balm-like music, and delight-giving music—heavy on the Bach. At the beginning of the show, he asks, “Need I say that music is extra-important in these strange and trying times?” He answers, “Of course I don’t.”

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Lots of parents now have kids at home, in need of schooling. A friend of Jay’s asked him, “Could you put together a little program for my kids?” Here it is: Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, and worthy others. A neat, balanced smattering. For “kids” of all ages.

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