Mozart's Attic

Thursdays from 10pm-12am

Mozart's Attic is a classical music program featuring music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Some of it is not frequently heard on air; other pieces are concert favorites from the symphonic repertoire, sometimes in rare or historic performances. There's plenty of vinyl, and sometimes even a bit of shellac.

You never know what you might come across in the attic. 

Tune in for Mozart's Attic Thursday nights from 10 pm until midnight.

  This rare portrait of Bach, by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, hung in John Eliot Gardiner's home during World War II.
courtesy of William H. Scheide, Princeton, N.J.

It's Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday on March 31st, and we'll be celebrating up in the attic on Thursday night.

Hymn_of_the_Nations_1944_OWI_film_(08_Arturo_Toscanini_conducting_Verdi's_La_Forza_del_Destino
Wikipedia

In a long career, Arturo Toscanini played cello under Giuseppe Verdi's baton at La Scala and conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in the age of high fidelity music recording. In between, he led the New York Philharmonic, just missed one of the great maritime disasters of all time, conducted Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival, got beaten up by the Fascists, and worked with several of the great voices of the operatic stage. We celebrate his 150th birthday this month, and we'll spend a couple of hours with the maestro this week up in the attic.

Claude Debussy
NPR / adoc-photos/Corbis

It's a program of French Ancients and Moderns this week in the attic.

We'll go back to some of the oldest music we have, written a millennium ago and continue through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Then -- for something completely different -- we'll switch to some French music of the 20th century by Debussy, Poulenc and Messaien.

A chacun son gout!

Among Mozart's choral works, there are three masses that are masterpieces beyond question -- even though two of them, the Requiem and the Great C minor, were left unfinished. We'll hear the other one, the Coronation Mass in C major this week.

The Renaissance gave us lots of religious and ceremonial music intended to uplift the spirit.

This week we ignore all of that and focus on the banquet halls, taverns and bawdy houses of England.

Music of the hedonists helped keep Merrie Olde England -- if not merrie -- at least distracted from the travails of life in difficult times.

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