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.

Beethoven was outraged when Napoleon declared himself emperor, and when the latter's army was defeated at the Battle of Vitoria, he used the opportunity to rub some salt in Napoleon's wounds. Wellington's Victory  celebrates the British defeat of French forces, which brought about the end of Napoleon's Iberian campaign.

The 1919 premiere of the Elgar Cello Concerto was a disaster due to a rehearsal schedule that bordered on sabotage. As a result the concerto was pretty much consigned to the musical scrap heap until 1965, when English cellist Jacqueline du Pre restored it to its rightful place in the concert repertoire in a breakthrough recording that, incidentally, made her a classical superstar of the sixties. She was twenty years old. Tragically, her career would only last another seven years.

Wilhelm Furtwängler
NPR

Wilhelm Furtwängler was the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra during World War II.

His legacy is complicated. By virtue of his podium, he was by far the most prestigious musician to remain in Germany -- and the Third Reich used that prestige as its own. But Furtwangler was no Nazi. Indeed, parts of his story read like a chapter in Schindler's List.

Was he "Hitler's Conductor" or was he a subtle saboteur who made sure things went wrong when they needed to go wrong?

We'll look at his politics and his Beethoven -- both --  this Thursday night.
 

Dmitri Shostakovich
The Guardian

It took some gumption to write music for a production of King Lear in Stalin's Russia in 1941. Dmitri Shostakovich, already having  been denounced in Pravda during the Great Terror, composed a score of incidental music to accompany Shakespeare's tale of a ruler gone mad, betrayed by flatterers and angry at those who spoke truth to him.

Anyone for allegory?

In 1971, long after Stalin's death, he did it once again for a motion picture soundtrack.

In 1880, someone suggested to Tchaikovsky that he write a piece of music to celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the coronation of Alexander II.

Staying on the good side of the Czar was always a good idea, and Tchaikovsky wrote a festival overture to be performed in front of the new Moscow cathedral, then nearing completion. The Czar was assassinated, the concert cancelled, and the score went into a box for a couple of years until another suitable occasion came around.

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