Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Back when such things really mattered, listeners would angrily argue the merits of Karl Böhm's two recordings of Mozart's "Die Zauberflöte." Was his best "Zauberflöte" his 1955 Decca recording -- the recording reissued here in French Decca's Rouge Opera series -- or his 1963 Deutsche Grammophon recording? There were powerful arguments either way. Böhm's 1955 recording had the lyric Léopold Simoneau as Tamino, while his 64 recording had the heroic Fritz Wunderlich. His 55 recording had the sweet Hilde Gueden as Pamina while his 1964 recording had the sexy Evelyn Lear. His 1955 recording had the warm Walter Berry as Papageno, while his 1964 recording had the wry Dietrich ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Back when such things really mattered, listeners would angrily argue the merits of Karl Böhm's two recordings of Mozart's "Die Zauberflöte." Was his best "Zauberflöte" his 1955 Decca recording -- the recording reissued here in French Decca's Rouge Opera series -- or his 1963 Deutsche Grammophon recording? There were powerful arguments either way. Böhm's 1955 recording had the lyric Léopold Simoneau as Tamino, while his 64 recording had the heroic Fritz Wunderlich. His 55 recording had the sweet Hilde Gueden as Pamina while his 1964 recording had the sexy Evelyn Lear. His 1955 recording had the warm Walter Berry as Papageno, while his 1964 recording had the wry Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. His 1955 recording had the burly Kurt Böhme as Sarastro, while his 1964 recording had the bottomless Franz Crass. And his 1955 recording had the unbelievably accurate Wilma Lipp as the Queen of the Night, while his 1964 recording had the incredibly agile Robert Peters. Both Böhm's orchestras were excellent: 1955's rich and lush Vienna Philharmonic seemed more gracious, while 1964's clean and strong Berlin Philharmonic seemed more elegant. And both interpretations plumb the depths of Mozart's final stage work in much the same way -- whether in the Austrian capital or the German capital, Böhm performed "Die Zauberflöte" as a sublime work of transcendent humanity. In the end, it comes down to sound. Decca's 1955 sound is clear and evocative; DG's 1964 sound is crisp and vivid. And, back when things really mattered, contemporary listeners will agree after hearing both that, whichever recording one may prefer, the only answer is both.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/1998
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028944873429
  • Catalog Number: 448734
  • Sales rank: 20,633

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–36 Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Karl Bohm (132:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Karl Bohm Primary Artist
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    It is an old fashioned zauberflote. Some fluid tempi altetnating with very heavy ones. Just moments to forget: ponderous begginning of overture, both finales and quintets. Fortunately dinamics are a bit atractive at other points inside those slow parts, like tha last part of the 3 boys numbers "act II finale". And the first Sarastro aria, well, played as it is here, is the most boring piece of music I ever listened to. Indeed, if you have trouble to sleep, listen to this part and forget your condition. However, although Bohm may be slow, too slow sometimes, he seems to know where to push accents at the right time. Period vfersions "the good ones, not Norrington"know that, too, but are more engaging. Orchestra plays with its customary lush sound. The choir has exemplary warmth and presence. As the solo parts, I cant understand why Walter Berry is so famous. He tries so hard to "steal the show", to put in front of you the comic side of Papageno that he forget the good singing. Several times he looses pitch, and as the part is not difficult to sing, it is a pity. Simeauneau's Tamino is pure delight: grace + strenght are not a "dicotomy-like" choice! Wilma Lipp's Queen of Night is a miracle: I never heard such a clarity. Pamina is sung with enough affection. Why Monostatos is sung like a gay????? He is chasing Pamina, after all! On the contrary, Sarastro is sung with impressive pressence. It is not a bad recording but there are several more interesting right there. Among those of that time, choose Fricsay's. It is more naturally paced.

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