This episode features the “Nokia tune”—which actually comes from a Spanish guitar piece. We also have tributes to two late-greats: the clarinetist Stanley Drucker and the organist Frederick Swann. And music by Handel, Berkeley, Guillaume Connesson (b. 1970), et al. A wonderful assortment.

Poulenc, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, last movement

A Christmas podcast: with carols, songs, and other things from all over. Various musical presents under this Tannenbaum.

Bach, “Grosser Herr, o starker König,” from the Christmas Oratorio

As our heading suggests, Jay fills this episode with preludes and other short pieces, and songs—by Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Shostakovich, and others. A wonderful, filling assortment.

Shostakovich, Fugue in A major, from Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87

This episode begins with “Early in the Morning,” the song by Ned Rorem (who just turned ninety-nine). It proceeds with “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.” Later on, there is “Sunday Morning,” one of the “Sea Interludes” from Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes.” Jay was not going for a morning theme. It just happened that way. There is other music too, including a hymn, both in its straightforward choral version and in an improvisation by a famous, and devoted, pianist.

Rorem, “Early in the Morning”

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.

Marx, “Septembermorgen”

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”)

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”

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

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

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”

Jay begins and ends with Simon Preston, the English organist, who recently passed away. He also pays tribute to Alexander Toradze, the Georgian-born American pianist who also passed away in recent days. There is a little piece by Chopin, with which Jay is in love. And more. You remember Mitch Miller, from “Sing Along with Mitch”? Well, he began his career as an oboist. And Jay has him in a concerto by Vaughan Williams. It is a wide, wonderful world, this world of music.

Bach, Fugue from Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major, BWV 564

A couple of weeks ago, Alexei Lubimov, a Russian pianist, was playing at an anti-war concert in Moscow. Police burst in to stop the concert. Lubimov kept playing until he had finished his piece (a Schubert impromptu). At the end of this episode, Jay plays a recording by Lubimov (Chopin this time). There is also Bach, Granados, Kapustin, Glass—a fine assortment.

Bach, Sinfonia, Easter Oratorio

That’s the title of a Bernstein song: “I Hate Music” (“but I like to sing”). In this episode, Jay has Barbara Bonney sing it. There’s also music by Mozart and other familiar composers. And music off the beaten path: Catoire? And a brand-new work by the American Scott Wheeler. And more. The episode ends as the previous one did: with a piece by Leroy Anderson. After Phil Smith and some of his friends played this piece at Lincoln Center, Smith said, “Well, that was a gasser.” For sure.

Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel, “La complaisante”

This episode begins with a Vivaldi concerto and ends with a seasonal favorite: “Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson. In between, there is music by Bruch, Grieg, Stephen Foster, and others. In the mix is a spiritual, “Hold Out Your Light.” An eclectic, refreshing, and interesting program of music.

Vivaldi, Flute Concerto in D, Op. 10, No. 3

In this episode, Jay does his annual Christmas show—this year featuring E. Power Biggs, Heidi Grant Murphy, Oscar Peterson, Marilyn Horne, and other worthy performers. A glad season, with glad music.

“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”

This episode begins with the “Chinese Dance” from “The Nutcracker”—a ballet that has been banned in Berlin. Wokeness has hopped the pond. Jay also plays an excerpt from an old, old opera based on the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice; and an excerpt from a new opera based on the same. In addition, there is music by Franz Schubert, Daniel Asia, and Stephen Sondheim—who passed away on November 26, at ninety-one. A striking menu of music, this episode has.

Tchaikovsky, “Danse chinoise,” from “The Nutcracker”

Nelson Freire, who passed away this month, said that pianists ought to play with joy. He did. There is a lot of joy in this episode, and sublimity, ethereality, and other qualities to savor. From Wagner to Errol Garner.

Trad., arr. Schindler, “Jasmine Flower”
Puccini, “Signore, ascolta,” from “Turandot”
Wagner, “Selig, wie die Sonne meines Glückes lacht,” from “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”
Albéniz-Godowsky, Tango in D major
Kern-Garner, “The Way You Look Tonight”

A piece he was writing about soccer, believe it or not, put Jay in mind of a song. So did the title of the latest Bond movie. There have been some passings in music recently: of Carlisle Floyd, Edita Gruberová, and Bernard Haitink. Jay pays tribute to these musicians, and, as usual, to music itself.

Trad., arr. Britten, “Come You Not from Newcastle?

In the current issue of the magazine, Jay has a chronicle on the 2021 Salzburg Festival. In this episode, he plays some of the music he discusses: from Bach to Mozart to Gershwin. (There are seven composers in all.) A marvelous array of pieces and performers.

Bach, Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B flat, Gigue

The opening piece, Jay says is one of the most joyous, most exuberant pieces ever written. It is a movement of a symphony, actually—the finale. Jay closes this program with Victor Borge, the musician-comedian, or comedian-musician—but in a serious vein. There is much to soak in, in this relatively brief program. Maybe the kind to listen to twice.

Mozart, Symphony No. 34 in C, K. 338, finale
Rorem, “Ferry Me Across the Water”
Bach-Loussier, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Henriques, Lullaby