Notes and Editorial Reviews
The re-discovery, two years ago, by the American musicologist David J. Buch of a lost opera partly composed by Mozart came as a sensation. Actually, The Philosopher's Stone (1790) includes very little new music by Wolfgang Amadeus. More interesting, however, is his participation in this collective work along with the future crew of his own Magic Flute: singers (Benedikt Schak was to be the first Tamino, Franz Xaver Gerl the first Sarastro), conductor (Johann Henneberg), and of course the impresario and librettist of both operas, Emanuel Schikaneder. As conductor Martin Pearlman writes, "It is fascinating to have a picture of him (Mozart) working in collaboration with a circle of composer friends to put alongside our usual image of the
genius working in isolation." Despite such disparate origins, the music isn't bad at all. If the opera never reaches the heights of inspiration, it's always pleasant and entertaining in the typical, light-hearted Singspiel style later sublimated in The Magic Flute. The name of Mozart comes only at the end of the Second Act, with a previously known duet and parts of the finale. These are fine moments, although you'd be hard-pressed to guess the identity of the composer just by listening to the music. This world premiere comes on period instruments, with a perfectly idiomatic cast. The voices are young and well trained, the Boston Baroque is ideally colored and disciplined, and Pearlman's direction is as vivacious as one could hope. Telarc's recording combines clarity and truthfulness. A worthwhile addition to the catalog.
--Luca Sabbatini, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Der Stein der Weisen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Paul Austin Kelly (Tenor),
Jane Giering-De Haan (Soprano),
Sharon Baker (Soprano),
Judith Lovat (Soprano),
Alan Ewing (Bass),
Kurt Streit (Tenor),
Roberta Anderson (Soprano),
Sabrina Learman (),
Gail Abbey (),
Karyl Ryczek (),
Kevin Deas (Bass),
Christopher Trakas (Baritone)
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 11/1998
Venue: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts
Length: 124 Minutes 20 Secs.
Notes: This work was reconstructed in 1998 by David Buch and also includes music by Johann Baptist Henneberg, Benedickt Schack, Franz Xaver Gerl and Emanuel Schikaneder. The authorship of the parts attributed to Mozart is uncertain.
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