A fine recording at a bargain basement price
Richard J. Roberts | Indianapolis, IN USA | 07/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I do not pretend to be an opera expert, but to my ears this is a lovely rocording, and you can't beat the price. I don't know what the previous reviewer is raving about, because the famous Queen of the Night aria ("Der Holle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen") is presented in full splendor on the cd (although it is amusing to note that in the cd booklet listing of numbers she is referred to as "king"). He seems to be complaining about the "listen to samples" portion of the page, in which that particular aria is not even among the available choices. It is my impression that we are asked to review the cd, not the 30-second samples, but whatever. Do not be fooled. This recording is a good deal."
Once acclaimed, now on the dull side, but with good singers
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 07/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This old-fashoined Magic Flute, which the Gramophone found "somewhat low in vitality and sparkle, even a shade staid" when it was reissued on CD, was acclaimed in the early digital era on LP. Its strengths are in the casting of young singers who were poised for international prominence or had already attained it: Siegfried Jerusalem as a big-voiced Tamino (later to sing Wagnerian roles like Lohengrin and Parsifal), Lucia Popp as Pamina (graudating from Queen of the Night for Klemperer), and Edita Guberorva as the Queen of the Night, stil one of the best on CD.
Haitink's conducting is often slow and always easy-going, too much so now that we're firmly in the period-performance era. So far as Mozart style goes, his approach is barely updated from Beecham's in the late Thirties. But there's lots of good singing on this rather stingy (58 min.) bargain CD, and overall it's a nice introduction to a Masterpiece, caught in good sound and with fine playing from the Bavarian Radio Sym. Orch."
A good highlights disc
daniel0302 | New York, NY United States | 08/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The complete recording of this performance is out of the catalogue at the moment, but this highlights disc has much for the listener to enjoy. Lucia Popp - a spectacular Queen of the Night on an earlier EMI recording - here sings Pamina, and she sings Pamina gloriously. Fans of Ms. Popp, and of great singing in general, will enjoy hearing this recording. Her duet with Papageno in the first Act is delightfully charming; the pivotal second Act aria "Ach ich fuhls" is gorgeous and moving - one of the best ever recorded. Edita Gruberova is stunning in her two arias as the Queen of the Night. Siegfried Jerusalem, Roland Bracht, and Wolfgang Brendel all contribute fine singing and theatricality. Bernard Haitink's conducting in the complete recording has been questioned by some critics, and the complete recording does come across as a little ponderous and sluggish, especially when compared to more recent period instrument recordings. But those reservations are moot in this highlights disc and the discount price is a nice bonus. This is an excellent CD for music lovers new to Mozart and to opera; the score of "The Magic Flute" combined with the exquisite artistry of Ms. Popp make this a gem."