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.

In 1964, Columbia Records released a two-LP set of E. Power Biggs playing the twelve surviving instruments of 17th-century master organ builder Arp Schnitger. The collection consists mostly of music of Bach, but Biggs also included seven little chorale preludes by then-contemporary composer Ernst Pepping. He wanted to demonstrate that 300-year-old instruments were splendidly capable of playing modern music. Listen to these seven little gems played on seven of the world's finest organs, and see how you think he did.

We begin with music of expatriate contemporary South African composer Kevin Volans. Once a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Volans became associated with the Cologne School, a post-minimalist movement also known as The New Simplicity. The Kronos Quartet  demonstrates  his most unusual fusion  of European and African idiom

The series of concerti grossi from Vivaldi's l'Estro Armonico continues, followed by some sonatas by Vivaldi's contemporary compatriot, Domenico Scarlatti.

The cycle of the Schubert symphonies concludes with the Symphony No. 9 in C major.

Arguably the musical center of the continent in the early 19th century, Vienna was home to both Schubert and Beethoven, and this symphony represented the avant garde of that time and place -- except that no one ever knew it. The autograph sat in a pile of manuscripts at a local musical club for a dozen years. Finally, Robert Schumann was shown the score. He took it to Leipzig and showed it to Felix Mendelssohn, who looked at it goggle-eyed and gave the premiere performance a few months later.

Last week in our cycle of the Schubert symphonies, we listened to the sixth symphony - written on the cusp of the Classical and Romantic periods by the 21-year-old composer.

This week we come to one of the most famous symphonies of them all, Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, the Unfinished Symphony.

Why was it unfinished --- and what happened to Symphony No. 7?

These are both good questions, and they have been debated by musicologists for nearly 200 years. We'll add our two cents' worth this Thursday night.

Paris at the turn of the century was a cauldron for the modern arts.

In music, there were three composers in particular, Debussy, Ravel, and Satie, who are now recognized as leading figures in what we call the Impressionistic School -- although they were not all that happy with that label.

We'll look at some of the work of these three -- pieces that helped to advance musical style past the 19th century Romanticism that was by now becoming rather tired.

Then we'll continue with the fifth in the series of the complete symphonies of Franz Schubert.