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Mozart: The Magic Flute

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 11, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Margaret Price (Pamina), Peter Schreier (Tamino), Luciana Serra (Königin der Nacht), Kurt Moll (Sarastro), Mikael Melbye (Papageno), Theo Adam (Sprecher), Marie McLaughlin, Ann Murray, Hanna Schwarz (Drei Damen)

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The Magic Flute is, for many, the embodiment of musical perfection, as dazzlingly perfect as the esoteric pyramids and symmetries that populate the composer's paean to Masonic philosophy. As so often with Mozart, beneath the sublime lurk darker subtexts--here, themes of sexuality, slavery, and vengeance. Colin Davis conducts the incomparable Staatskapelle Dresden, with Peter Schreier's charming Tamina rescuing Margaret Price's lovely Pamina. --Joshua Cody
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Product Details

  • Performer: Margaret Price, Luciana Serra, Peter Schreier, Kurt Moll, Hanna Schwarz, et al.
  • Orchestra: Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (October 11, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000041AA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. McFarland on July 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is the "music only" version of Davis' recording .... It is DDD format (i.e., recorded digitally, as well as processed and produced), and has tremendous presence and clarity. The cast is exactly the same as the complete version (Moll, Schreier, Price, Serra, etc.), excellent musicians who know how to sing in German. If you want to listen to this opera, instead of study it with libretto, get this version, cut through the spoken dialogue....
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By A Customer on September 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who is a Mozart fan, this version of "The Magic Flute" is an essential recording to own. From the very beginning, I was entranced by the beautiful music of this wonderful, fairy-tale like opera. Schreier as Tamino is my mind's epitome of a handsome and romantic prince. Margaret Price's Pamina is the woman Mozart surely would have chosen himself. Her portrayal as a lovelorn, beautiful, and confused young princess is one of the most wonderful I've heard in opera. Her voice is warm and lovely, and conveys every emotion perfectly; I've recently seen Bergman's version of the Magic Flute and felt as though I'd already watched the opera, so good is Price's interpretation on the cd. I would give it six stars if I could! It is definitely the best recording of The Magic Flute out there.
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Format: Audio CD
This version of Mozart's Die Zauberflote is excellent. A well-known cast of singers and a renowned orchestra and conductor make this recording one of the best I have ever seen. When I first started to dabble into this opera this was the 1st one I ever heard. Kurt Moll as Sarastro is good but he has sung it so many times it feels like he is sick of doing it but nonetheless he's excellent. Peter Schreier as Tamino is brilliant and full-toned as the best Tamino I have every seen. Margaret Price as Pamina is also very good. Luciana Serra as the Queen of the Night is the best I have ever seen. Her coloratura is sung effortlessly and she pulls the role off very well. The rest of the cast is good but are pretty much unknown (except: Marie McLaughlin as the 1st lady, Ann Murray as the 2nd lady and Robert Tear as Monostatos.) My 2 peeves of this recording is: no dialogue (which most recordings lately don't) and the rather slow tempos of Colin Davis. My verdict: buy this version over its overly expensive counterpart (the one w/ the dialogue and libretto) which can cost an upward of 80$ used.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I could never have imagined that Davis would lend himself to the abhorrent practice of cutting all the dialogue out of this opera.
Without it, this is an album of "Arias and Choruses".
It is tantamount to a falsification of history, since Mozart worked under the conditions offered him by Schikaneder.
Moreover for a listener following the story with the libretto, it means you have to stop the music after each aria or chorus in order to read the dialogue.
I believe you will agree with me that this is an absurd proposition, calculated to spoil any enjoyment of the recording as an OPERA recording.
As far as performances go, I also expected better.
Davis' conducting is pretty perfunctory. Half a minute with Böhm and the Berlin Phil, and you'll not return to this album!
This is quite apart from the further recommendation that the 1963 album has better singer in every role.
I've have yet to hear better singers than Wunderlich and Fischer-Dieskau in the principal male roles. Schreier is not bad (better, I think than in his Sawallisch recording), but the improvement is marginal. But Davis' Pagageno suffers from indecision as to the way of projecting jollity, and so he leaves us with an ambiguous sense that he's "not all there". Price sounds like a matron, despite singing as well as we would expect from her; but Sena's voice for the Queen of the Night is thin and wiry, quite unpleasant actually; and she sings with such deliberation that one almost feels the presence of a souffleur. As for the words, her German leaves a lot to be desired, for which she compensates by rendering the text so indistinct as to be almost unrecognisable.
I can't see any point in continuing listing pros and cons.
As far as I am concerned, this is not a recording of Mozart's opera.
I wait now with bated breath for Davis to record the St Matthew Passion with all the recitatives cut.
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Format: Audio CD
I used to listen to this recording back in the vinyl days and I have three complaints about it: 1. Peter Schreier's voice is grating and annoying and his acting seems hysterical and almost clownish; and 2. Kurt Moll, who is one of my very favorite Sarastros on other recordings and videos, sounds here as if he doesn't care at all. Maybe he was over-rehearsed or something. 3. Margaret Price is a sweet, intelligent soprano, but she does not sound at all like a little girl. She is wrong for Pamina.

Much better ZAUBERFLOTEs are available.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Marvelous cd set for those who want to hear excellence at a very reasonable price!

The set is quite simple, booklet contais only a few notes on the recording, mostly tecnical details and the costumary review. (no libretto included)

What impresses here is the Queen of the Night, Luciana Serra delivers an amazing sound with bright, fast and moving coloratura, a feast for the ears!!! Despite the tremendous clearness of her staccato high notes one wonders how great it would be to have her voice registered the Bellinian jewel, Sonnambula!

If you're a Mozart cuco like me this is a must have!
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