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Mozart: Die Zauberflöte / The Magic Flute (Abbado, 2005)


“Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)” K.620 is an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a 18th-century musician from Salzburg and composer of the Viennese classical school, in 1791 in his last days.

The German libretto was written by German impresario, dramatist, actor and singer Emanuel Schikaneder.

It was first performed at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna in 1791, about two months before Mozart’s death.

It is an opera with a magical world-view in the Singspiel form, which features spoken dialogue and readily accessible melodies.

This work had a great influence on the German romantic operas afterwards.

Set in ancient Egypt. At the request of the Queen of the Night (coloratura soprano), prince Tamino (tenor) with a magic flute and birdcatcher Papageno (baritone) with magic bells try to rescue the Queen of the Night’s daughter Pamina (soprano), who is captured by evil demon Sarastro (bass).

Papageno’s aria “Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (The Birdcatcher am I)” and the Queen of the Night’s two arias including a very high range (F6) and virtuoso coloratura soprano, “O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn (Oh, Tremble Not, My Beloved Son)” and “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Hell’s Vengeance Boils in My Heart)” are well-known.

About the 2005 Recording by Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado recorded this opera at Teatro Comunale Modena, Italy in September 2005, conducting Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra includes period instruments, such as timpani, trumpet, and trombone.

The album was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2006 as a set of 2 CDs.

The album is characterized by nimble tempos, vivid vocal performances, and emphasis on the theatrical aspect as a Singspiel.

The casts are Dorothea Röschmann (as Pamina), Erika Miklósa (as the Queen of the Night), Christoph Strehl (as Tamino), René Page (as Sarastro), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (as Papageno), and others.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act I – No. 4, O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn!