A Wonderful Compilation
Indiana Opera Buff | Fort Wayne, IN United States | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I consider this recording to be surely one of the best on CD of the Magic Flute. Everyone is in excellent voice. June Anderson's top notes ring out with great strength and freedom as the Queen of the Night, and her coloratura work in the first act aria, "O zittre nicht", is exquisitely beautiful and the highpoint of the CD. Jerry Hadley does a fine lyric job as Tamino (I was surprised). Barbara Hendricks' lovely voice is perfectly suited for the role of Pamina, which she sings admirably. Robert Lloyd sings Sarastro with an impressively strong and deep voice, and Thomas Allen does a wonderful job as Papageno. In addition, you get a whopping 77 minutes of all-digital music and a booklet with the background of the opera and pictures of the singers. What a deal! The one fault in the whole opera, though, is that Sir Charles Mackerras takes Pamina's aria "Ach, ich fuhl's" a little too quickly, giving some convoluted historical reason for the faster tempo in the booklet's notes."
Buy this recording for June Anderson's performance
Opera Obsessed | Baltimore, MD USA | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I already had had several full length recordings of this opera, I bought this one especially to hear June Anderson. Many opera buffs boast that Lucia Popp's Queen of the Night is the greatest of all, but I have been only impressed with Popp's interpretation of the 2nd aria "Der Hoelle Rache" and not as much with the 1st aria "O Zittre Nicht." While it is true that Popp really hammers out those high E flats and F's and also satisfies in the 2nd aria, I think that she misses much of the pathos and tenderness that is required in the first. June Anderson, however, has it all. Like Popp, she has extraordinary power in the upper registers, quite rare for a coloratura. But what truly differentiates June Anderson's interpretation is the varied expressiveness. The pathos of the Queen's character shines through clearly, but her character reversal is dramatic by the second aria. She sings the whole 2nd aria with tremendous power, but she still holds back her fortissimo until the final high B flat, which really caps off her whole performance.
If you buy the Highlights version of this recording, you will still get to hear both arias with June Anderson, so in my opinion it's not worth buying the longer version. But you get a lot for your money with the Highlights CD just because of the two arias with Anderson. In order to appreciate the opera in its entirety, I'd suggest to listen to the Popp/Gedda/Klemperer recording.