As Jay says, Anne-Sophie Mutter is not just one of the great violinists of our time, she is one of the great musicians of our time. She is also a fascinating – fascinating – interviewee. Smart as a whip, for one thing. From the Salzburg Festival, she and Jay talk about a number of things, including a number of personalities: André Previn (to whom she was married), Herbert von Karajan (who launched her career), John Williams (the famed movie composer, with whom she has made a new album), and more. She ends with a sweet, moving tribute to her man – and the universe’s man – Bach.

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Sir John Tomlinson is a veteran, marvelous singer, a bass. He is now appearing at the Salzburg Festival. As Jay says, Sir John speaks almost as beautifully as he sings. In this conversation, they talk about the vocal life and many other things. Sir John does some singing, including the beginning of “Boris Godunov.” All free of charge. A splendid listen, the whole thing.

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Jay is at the Salzburg Festival, performing his annual tasks, which include a series of conversations for the Salzburg Festival Society. One of the guests in the series is Rosa Feola, a soprano from Italy. She is a delightful, sparkling woman, as you will hear. Also an interesting one – as you will also hear. As a bonus, Rosa does a little singing – a little demonstrating. You will eat her up, as Jay and the audience in Salzburg did.

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That’s the way Lou Cannon was once described on television. (Jay can’t remember exactly by whom, but he thinks it was Al Hunt.) Cannon, the veteran journalist and author, has written a slew of books about Reagan, beginning in the 1960s. Jay wanted to talk to him about the recent eruption over Reagan and race. (Jay himself wrote about the issue – quoting Cannon at length – here.) In addition to this question, Cannon discusses the Tea Party movement (2009-16), Donald Trump, and the Democratic presidential field.

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No, not the Mafia, although the Mafia certainly is one – any mob that forms in politics and society. Kevin Williamson is the author of a new book: “The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics.” He and his friend Jay talk about this, among other issues, such as conservatism, libertarianism, economics, immigration, cars, music, and novels. You may not like every word – but then, you might. Listen in.

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If you want an expert on the Republican party, look to Tim Alberta, the author of the sensational new book American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump. Jay puts him through his paces, and Alberta is in excellent form. He even jabs Jay at the end of the podcast about college football — in response to which, Jay can only smile weakly, dreaming of the approaching season.

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Mona Charen joins Jay for a “Need to Know”-style hour. As of old, they go back and forth – about the flood (not the Noah-related one, but the recent one in Washington, D.C.); the left-wing nuttiness of the Democratic party; troubles – further troubles – in RightWorld; Jeffrey Epstein; the British ambassador; Nancy Reagan; “Miss” and “Mrs.” and “Ms.”; the late Lee Iacocca; and yet more things under the sun.

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George Will once pointed out to George McGovern that he, McGovern, had become a noun, and an ism: “McGovernism.” The same has happened to David French: “David Frenchism.” What is that? French himself discusses it, with Jay. They talk about a slew of things, in a conversation both leisurely and vigorous: Independence Day; Justin Amash and the Republican party; climate change; Antifa and masks; Trump and dictators; Nike and Arizona; Oberlin College and a bakery (it’s always a bakery, isn’t it?); the NBA; Iran; the Tuskegee Airmen … You have a pair of Frenchistas, talking over the world.

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Listeners may recall that Jay is a great fan of “University Challenge,” the British quiz show. He has had “UC” contestants as guests on “Q&A” before: the great David Landon Cole and Eric Monkman, who sparked Monkmania, which still has not abated. This time, his guest is Freddy Leo, a standout from the season just past (2018-19). Amazing young man. Is “Freddy Leo” his real name or a stage name? It’s his name, actually – another amazing thing about the guy.

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It truly is dazzling, for those who are prepared to be dazzled by it. This episode gives you NBA talk from two of Jay’s regular gurus, David French and Vivek Dave, and a special guest star, Sopan Deb, newly named an NBA writer for the New York Times. (He had been a culture writer before.) Talk ranges from Steph to KD to LeBron and so on and so forth. A wonderful subject, professional basketball, from three guys who really, really know it.

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Mike Brown is the editor of the Rockdale Reporter, in Central Texas. He is one of Jay’s favorite newspapermen and writers. Jay and Kevin Williamson took a road trip to visit Mike and the Reporter – and sat down for a podcast in the bargain. You will very much like getting to know Mike Brown. (Jay and Kevin aren’t bad either.)

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Gerard Schwarz is a leading conductor, and he started out as a leading trumpeter. He is also one of the best talkers about music – best teachers of music – you will ever encounter. Jay asks him to talk about everything from recordings to composers to Louis Armstrong to the future. This is a rich and fascinating hour (and even includes a little singing, at no extra charge).

N.B. The maestro’s volume is low, owing to a technological glitch. But if you can stick with him, using headphones or what have you, it will be well worth it.

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Nasser Weddady is an American of Mauritanian origin. (Mauritania is a nation in northwest Africa.) He is a human-rights activist, and strategist. He works for the Human Rights Foundation, in New York. He grew up in various countries, having a diplomat for a father. As a boy, he was in Moammar Qaddafi’s tent (literally). He also met Hafez Assad. Weddady speaks Hebrew (which is a very interesting story). For years, he has helped people spring their loved ones from prison. That’s what he does. Now he is faced with his own case: His brother, Abderrahmane, is a political prisoner, in Mauritania.

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That’s the title of one of William F. Buckley Jr.’s novels: “Spytime.” Its subtitle is “The Undoing of James Jesus Angleton.” Jay asks his guest, H. Keith Melton, about Angleton – and about much else. Melton is one of the world’s foremost experts on espionage. He has amassed the greatest espionage collection. He is the author of many books, and is a founding director of the new International Spy Museum in Washington. He knows a lot of secrets – and shares some of them with us. Among the items in his collection, incidentally, is the ice pick used to kill Trotsky.

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Robert Kelly is known worldwide. He is the “BBC Dad,” the scholar whose children and wife burst into the room, delightfully, as he was giving an interview. Do you remember? It’s good that Kelly has a worldwide fame – because he knows as much about the Koreas, North and South, as anyone. With Jay, he runs through many of the most important issues. And he also relates what it’s like to be the “BBC Dad.”

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Timothy Snyder is a historian of the Holocaust, Eastern Europe, and yet other matters. He is a professor at Yale and has many other affiliations. Among his books are “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin” and “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America.” Jay picks his brain on democracy, dictatorship, and other concerns of today (and always). An education.

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Listeners to “Q&A” know Evan Mawarire already. He is Zimbabwe’s “freedom pastor,” a leader of the democratic opposition. He was a guest on this podcast two years ago: here. Jay wrote a piece about him, here. At the time, Pastor Evan was leading a movement against Robert Mugabe, the longtime dictator. Now Mugabe is gone – and Pastor Evan is still leading the struggle, as the government is as cruel as ever, if not more so. Once more, the freedom pastor is in grave trouble, having continued to stick his neck out. To listen to Evan Mawarire is to be amazed and inspired.

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He has written many books, and many more columns. His latest book is “The Conservative Sensibility.” In a way, George F. Will has been pointing toward this book his entire life. It is a summing up of what he has learned and what he believes. Jay talks with him about conservatism and myriad related things: libertarianism, nationalism, populism, and so on. A wonderful, fundamental conversation.

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Loujain al-Hathloul is a Saudi political prisoner. She has campaigned for women’s rights: the right to drive; the right to live an independent life, without male guardianship; the right to be free of domestic abuse. In prison, she has been tortured. Her family stayed silent for eight months, thinking that was the right strategy. But then they decided to speak out. Loujain’s brother Walid is doing just that, and does so in this brief, moving “Q&A” with Jay.

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From Jay Nordlinger’s introduction: “Three years ago, Thae Yong-ho defected to South Korea. At the time, he was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom. He is one of the highest-ranking North Koreans ever to defect. To defect from North Korea is no light thing, to put it as mildly as possible.

“I spoke to Thae Yong-ho at the Oslo Freedom Forum, the annual human-rights gathering held in the Norwegian capital. The circumstances were not ideal. When we began, there was a great din around us. You will have to listen closely. Eventually, the din subsides, but you may still have to listen closely. Given the unusual nature of our guest, and what he has to say from his life experience, I thought it was worth airing the conversation, even with the difficulties.”

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