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Mozart: The Magic Flute (Highlights)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Karl Böhm, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Mozart: The Magic Flute (Highlights)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Still probably the most magical recording ever of The Magic Flute, this starrily cast production featured the incomparable Fritz Wunderlich as Tamino, Evelyn Lear as a wonderfully sympathetic Pamina, Roberta Peters as a r...  more »

      
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Still probably the most magical recording ever of The Magic Flute, this starrily cast production featured the incomparable Fritz Wunderlich as Tamino, Evelyn Lear as a wonderfully sympathetic Pamina, Roberta Peters as a regal Queen of the Night (surprisingly good coloratura, if a little light at the top), Wagnerians James King and Martti Talvela as the two armed men (imagine that!), and of course, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, in one of his finest operatic outings, as an engagingly earnest Papageno. Behind it all, the marvelously astute Karl Böhm and the Berlin Philharmonic are in top form. The 1964 stereo is first rate. --Ted Libbey

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CD Reviews

Wunderlich is Phenomenal!
fineartfan | Sacramento, CA | 12/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is undoubtably the best recording of Die Zauberflote. I have multiple recordings of this opera and am convinced that Wunderlich is the best tenor ever to fill the role of Tamino. Personally, I think he's the best tenor, period. His voice is pure and free, even when reaching for the highest of notes. I've listened to the recording at least 200 times and yet I still weep when I hear Tamino's first aria, >>Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schonO zittre nicht, mein lieber sohn!Der Holle Rache kocht in meinem herzen"
Male voices top, female voices flop
C. G. Kiem | Cochin, Indien | 05/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"To get the real feeling for the charme of "Die Zauberflöte", you need at least two recordings: This one under Böhm is magnificent for its male voices. Nobody can beat Wunderlich as Tamino, Fischer-Dieskau as Papageno, and Crass as Sarastro. The female voices, with the exception of Lisa Otto as Papagena, are not up to the mark, though. Evelyn Lear as Pamina is lacking in brilliance, especially in the duets when she has to stand comparison with her male counterparts. Roberta Peter's singing as Queen of the Night is somewhat extreme. You get used to it after some time, but her timbre is void of beauty and her coloratura shaky at times.

What can be made of the female roles becomes clear when you listen to Klemperer's recording on EMI (also from the early 1960s, like Böhm's). Gundula Janowitz is probably the most beautiful Pamina on disc and Lucia Popp is supreme as Queen of the Night. The three ladies with Schwarzkopf, Ludwig and Höffgen are lovely and sheer luxury. But then Klemperer was less lucky with his male voices: Nicolai Gedda as Tamino and Walter Berry as Papageno sing well but remain pale when compared with Wunderlich and Fischer-Dieskau. Gottlob Frick performs with a lot of warmth, but is clearly beyond his prime when it comes to technique.

So, to experience the full potential of this marvellous opera, there is no way out: You need both the Böhm and the Klemperer version! On its own, neither one is fully satisfactory - but still better than most recent productions!
"
The Best Ever!
C. G. Kiem | 07/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is, without peer, the very best recording of Die Zauberflote there is! There has never been a better Tamino. Grab any recording you can of Fritz Wunderlich singing ANYTHING! This tenor rivals only Jussi!"