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.

As good NPR listeners, you know all about Mama Stamberg's Cranberry sauce, but here in the Attic we know that what you really, really need is a way to use up some of that leftover turkey. We'll have one good answer for you on the Thanksgiving night program.

Then we'll look at the music of England and Holland in the time of the Pilgrims, the music they might have enjoyed had they been so inclined -- which they were not -- before leaving Europe forever on the Mayflower.

It happens all the time. A composer writes a piece of music knowing exactly how he wants it to sound, and then somebody comes along and plays it on a different instrument. Sometimes the result is quite convincing; other times not so much.

This week we'll look at some transcriptions, most of them making a good case for themselves -- and a couple of duds, too.

Crimes against Bach and Beethoven and Debussy and Brahms and Tchaikovsky and a few others. You might like a couple of them better than the originals. See what you think this Thursday.

Amphion String Quartet Beckman

Built more than 200 years ago, the Siena Pianoforte was once a treasure of King Umberto of Italy. Eventually it was more or less forgotten, and it turned up -- trashed -- in  World War II North Africa when Rommel's troops withdrew. It was repaired, pressed into service for the British troops, sold to a junk  dealer, and abused for a few years until it was rescued from the Tel Aviv dump, after having served as just about everything but a doghouse --- and maybe even that!

Some of the most elegant music of the Baroque era came not from Bach, nor Handel, nor even Vivaldi. Jean-Phillippe Rameau, working at the Parisian stage and the court of Louis XV, was a pre-eminent practitioner of the 18th-century French style -- a style that wOULD end by the time of the Revolution. Rameau was then pretty much forgotten until the baroque revival of the 20th century.

We'll hear some of Rameau's French elegance -- and then some Victorian and Edwardian elegance from Sir Edward Elgar.

As the 19th century came to a close, cathartic changes were coming to the European classical music scene. But they would not come at the hands of Johannes Brahms. No revolutionary he, Brahms was a culminating figure of the Romantic style. This doesn't mean he lacked originality, and his Fourth Symphony with its remarkable finale movement demonstrates that he had a lot yet to say.