NTK FeatureMona and Jay are a hundred years old today—or rather, they have just recorded their hundredth podcast. They had lengthy discussions about how to mark their “centenary.” In the end, Mona asked Jay questions about music. And the podcast is replete with musical examples, or clips.

Sample question: “What is the most comforting music you can think of?” Another sample: “What is the most rousing?”

A playlist, typed up by Jay, is here. And Jay insists on making this statement: “Mona and I want to ‘shout out’ to our producer, the Ricochet maestro Blue Yeti, the best in the business, and a peach of a guy, which is gravy.”

Jay also wants to say this: “In books, I believe, they call them ‘errata.’ After our podcast, I rushed to Google to see what mistakes I had made. 1) Beethoven received his Broadwood about ten years before he died, not in his dying days. What he received on his deathbed was the complete works of Handel (which it comforted him to leaf through). 2) Beethoven’s dear teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe, not Christoph Neef. 3) Victor Kiam owned Remington, not Norelco. I’m sure there are more mistakes, but I’m going by the principle of three strikes and you’re out . . .”

A final word: “Scrutinizers of the playlist will see that we left out a clip. We’ll address the relevant question, and play the clip, in a future podcast.”

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There are 16 comments.

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  1. Token Member

    Congratulations on the 100th podcast from the Ricochetti. Each podcast is consumed consumed as soon as you post them.

    • #1
  2. user_129448 Inactive

    But the all important question for Jay: vinyl or digital?

    • #2
  3. user_473455 Inactive

    Book idea for Jay, “Classical Music 101: Your introduction to the great composers, performers, and music” which details out a lot of the “technical” jargon you were using in the podcast. I for one would love to learn more.

    • #3
  4. user_142044 Thatcher

    Jay, should have gone with the Bruckner.  Seven or nine, preferably.  If you must have Mahler, then why not the Fifith?

    • #4
  5. nattybumpo Inactive

    Congratulations on your anniversary and thanks for the special show. It is definitely worth listening to more than once.

    My understanding is that that the convention to avoid applause between movements was only established toward the end of the 19th century. In fact, at the premiere of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, the soloist, Franz Clement, who was sight reading the music, supposedly took the opportunity between the first and second movements to play an unrelated  improvisation of his own, on a single string, with the violin held upside down. Usually those who applaud between movements are revealing themselves to be new to the concert hall, but shouldn’t that be a good thing?  I first learned of the convention myself at a performance of that same Beethoven concerto by the French violinist Zino Francescatti with the Chicago Symphony, where the Orchestra Hall audience, who knew better, broke into a spontaneous crescendo of applause after an especially beautiful first movement.

    As for the repugnant Richard Wagner, I’ve always found it curious that, with the exception of Toscanini and Furtwangler (some might add Karajan) the greatest Wagnerian conductors have been Jewish, even when the composer himself was still alive. This is just further proof that great works of art can transcend the artist that created them.

    • #5
  6. user_30416 Inactive

    Really really enjoyed this episode and, frankly, did not expect to, not being a big fan of classical music per se (though the piece written after the composer realized he was not going to die continues to haunt me). Perhaps it is my untrained ear, but I like listening to smaller ensembles rather than orchestras because I can hear the music much better. As a student of the guitar, I found Mona’s questions to be excellent. The only thing I would have asked is if Jay plays or has ever played an instrument and, if not, if that affects his approach to music criticism. Thanks again for a lovely podcast.

    • #6
  7. user_473455 Inactive

    I listened to this podcast again this morning and may listen to it again. :)

    Really, really wonderful content from the both of you Mrs. Charen and Mr. Nordlinger.

    I have also listened the Mahler No. 2 several times. Breathtaking.

    • #7
  8. Dave_L Inactive

    What a wonderful diversion!  I liked this musical episode even better than your last.

    Looking ahead to the next one…JAY / MONA – could you be so kind as to consider highlighting Respighi’s Suites of Ancient Airs and Dances?    The fourth movement of the Second Suite provokes an unbridled joy unlike anything else.

    If I recall correctly, one of the movements is based on a tune composed by Galileo’s father.  The suites are fascinating in all respects and I would love to hear Jay’s perspective!

    Thank you in advance!

    • #8
  9. kylez Member

    I hadn’t heard that Tchaikovsky killed himself. From Wikipedia:

    While Tchaikovsky’s death has traditionally been attributed to cholera, most probably contracted through drinking contaminated water several days earlier from the local river,[172] some have theorized that his death was a suicide.[173] Opinion has been summarized as follows: “The polemics over [Tchaikovsky’s] death have reached an impasse … Rumor attached to the famous die hard … As for illness, problems of evidence offer little hope of satisfactory resolution: the state of diagnosis; the confusion of witnesses; disregard of long-term effects of smoking and alcohol. We do not know how Tchaikovsky died. We may never find out …..”

    Towards the end of the page they have a recording of his voice made for Edison in 1890. (in Russian, but written English translation).

    • #9
  10. user_1184 Member

    Jay: Applause between movements is a biggish subject, and I could talk at length about it.

    Jay: I could bore you for an hour with talk about keys.

    Only on Ricochet!

    • #10
  11. Skarv Inactive

    A great podcast. Turned on the podcast not knowing what to expect and almost stopped listening when I saw 1 hour 47 minutes on classic music – not a topic I know anything about – but I was dragged in by the nice and intriguing conversation and the beautiful snippets of music.

    A podcast like this is a cultural good. Hope many will listen. I am just now listening to Bach mass in B minor on youtube :)

    Thank you.

    • #11
  12. user_158368 Inactive

    Wonderful podcast!  Even through tiny earbuds the Mahler 2nd finale gives me the chills.

    Jay, you noted that people who play by ear often start by improvising on the black keys.  I don’t think this is because they like the sound of F# major, but rather because the black keys form a pentatonic scale.  The pentatonic scale is remarkably free of dissonance.  Almost anything you do with it sounds OK – any combination of tones can sound pleasing.

    • #12
  13. Pencilvania Inactive

    I expected this to be wonderful and was not disappointed one iota – I will be listening to it again soon, perhaps even this afternoon, it’s just that wonderful.  Thank you so much to Mona and Jay!

    • #13
  14. user_212095 Contributor

    Here is the “Flower Duet” from Lakme mentioned early in the podcast. Jay explained that it’s a “study in thirds.” See if you don’t agree that it’s gorgeous.

    • #14
  15. Walker Inactive

    Is there someplace on the site where we an find the list of the pieces Mona and Jay referenced and played excerpts from?  I didn’t think I was going to like it and then I was utterly mesmerized.  I’m sure I have some of the pieces in 33 1/3 rpm versions, and it would help if we could see the list.

    • #15
  16. user_144801 Member

    Naturally one cannot include everything, but no love for Brahms in the selection of a fourth desert island piece?

    Funny story: last night I told my 7-year-old son (who’s just getting into classical music) about this podcast and the “four desert island pieces” challenges. He came up with his own list: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the last movement of Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, Ode to Joy, and Mozart’s Piano Sonata K545. (Not a bad list for a kid his age, I thought.)

    Then I asked him: what about The Nutcracker? Or Rite of Spring? (Both pieces he’s heard and enjoyed.) Hmmmm, he said, maybe he’d replace one of his choices…. at which point I noted how hard it must be for someone who knows as much music as Jay Nordlinger to come with a top-four when a kid just getting started already struggles with it!

    • #16