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Mozart: Die Zauberflöte / Abbado, Pape, Et Al

Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000642802   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dorothea RöschmannChristoph StrehlHanno Müller-BrachmannGeorge Zeppenfeld,   ... 
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg ChoirMahler Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 29 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Claudio Abbado leads this "live" performance of The Magic Flute with a nimble, light hand, stressing the playful elements of the score and turning the experience into a sheer delight. Whereas a conductor like Otto Klemperer may have taken Mozart's Masonic beliefs, trials, and battles between good and evil very seriously, here we get the fairy tale aspect of the work. The "serious" moments--the scenes at the Temple, etc.--are not passed over, but they're not underscored with real gravity; they're dignified, but they don't stop the action and change one's mood. Some listeners might see this as a negative aspect; I do not. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra, not a period ensemble, plays like one, crisply; it's well attuned to Read more Abbado's fleet instincts and plays handsomely.

Three of the cast members are among the finest exponents of their roles on CD, and that's saying a great deal. The Tamino of newcomer Christoph Strehl is world class; his beautiful tone contains both sheer lyricism and plangency. His legato is as smooth as Stuart Burrows', his phrasing as elegant as Fritz Wunderlich's. Dorothea Röschmann's Pamina may not be as silvery as Gundula Janowitz's, but it is both girlish and womanly, her intonation is perfect, and she sings with great expression. And René Pape's Sarastro is as fine as we've heard. Sarastros tend to sound either very wise or warmly human; only the best--and Pape is now one of them--encompass both.

Erika Miklosa sings the Queen of the Night accurately and delivers her recits with the proper bite, but she doesn't overwhelm, and Hanno Müller-Brachmann's Papageno is a bit anonymous in a role that is anything but. He hasn't the profile of Prey, Fischer-Dieskau, or (lately) Simon Keenlyside, and while his singing is good, he's not memorable. The Speaker of George Zeppenfeld is lighter than usual (in keeping with the overall texture), and Julia Kleiter's Papagena is fine. The Three Boys are wonderful; the Three Ladies are not always on their notes, but they're flavorful and energetic. Abbado allows (suggests?) small embellishments throughout for the singers, and they're pleasing. Despite small reservations, this set has much going for it, including the excellent sonics. [7/10/2006]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Die Zauberflöte, K 620 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dorothea Röschmann (Soprano), Christoph Strehl (Tenor), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Baritone),
George Zeppenfeld (Bass), Kurt Azesberger (Tenor), Caroline Stein (Soprano),
Heidi Zehnder (Soprano), Alexander Lischke (Boy Soprano), Niklas Mallmann (Boy Alto),
Frederic Jost (Boy Soprano), Danilo Formaggia (Tenor), Sascha Borris (Bass),
Andreas Bauer (Bass), Julia Kleiter (Soprano), René Pape (Bass),
Erika Miklosa (Soprano), Tobias Beyer (Spoken Vocals), Matthias Bernhold (Spoken Vocals),
Martin Olbertz (Spoken Vocals), Anne-Carolyn Schlüter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2005 
Venue:  Teatro Comunale, Modena, Italy 
Length: 148 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: German 

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