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CHAN 3121M
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CHAN 3121
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - The Magic Flute

Mozart: The Magic Flute

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2005

Originally recorded in 2004


London Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Charles Mackerras

Simon Keenlyside

baritone - Papageno

John Tomlinson

bass - Sarastro

Christopher Purves

bass - Speaker, Armed Man, First Priest

Diana Montague

mezzo-soprano - Third Lady

Majella Cullagh

soprano - First Lady

Rebecca Evans

soprano - Pamina

Lesley Garrett

soprano - Papagena

Elizabeth Vidal

soprano - Queen of the Night

Sarah Fox

soprano - Second Lady

Peter Bronder

tenor - Armed Man, Second Priest

John Graham-Hall

tenor - Monostatos

Barry Banks

tenor - Tamino

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir


Blackheath Halls, London


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Michael Common


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 136:39
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Opera - The Magic Flute



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The Magic Flute

  Singspiel in two acts  
  Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, English translation by Jeremy Sans  
1 Overture 6:27
  Act I  
2 'Have mercy, have mercy' 6:22
  Tamino, Three Ladies  
3 'I'm sure that there could never be' 4:26
  Papageno, Tamino, Three Ladies  
4 'Such loveliness beyond compare' 4:33
  Tamino, Three Ladies  
5 'Don't be afraid, now hear my song' 4:54
  Queen of the Night, Tamino  
6 'Hm! hm! hm! hm!' 5:47
  Papageno, Tamino, Three Ladies  
7 Dialogue: (scream) - 'Slaves!' - 3:01
  'You will not dare escape again'  
  Pamina, Monostatos, Papageno  
8 'A man in search of truth and beauty' 3:07
  Pamino, Papageno  
9 'If you can strive to be a man' 1:40
  Three Boys, Tamino  
10 'These words of wisdom reassure me' 2:06
  Tamino, Speaker  
11 'What rash adventure bring you here' 6:34
  Speaker, Tamino, Chorus  
12 'How soft, how strong your magic sound' 3:02
13 'Walk on tip-toe, not a sound' 3:01
  Pamina, Papageno, Monostatos, Chorus  
14 'We worship Sarastro, we bow before him!' 1:50
  Chorus, Papageno, Pamina  
15 'Sir, I was disobedient' 3:08
  Pamina, Sarastro  
16 'Our Lord Sarastro will decide' 3:20
  Pamina, Sarastro  
  Act II  
17 'My brothers who serve the great gods' 4:30
  Sarastro, First Priest, Second Priest  
18 'O Isis and Osiris, arm them with strength' 3:06
  Sarastro, Priests  
19 Dialogue: 'Where to you think we are?' 1:18
  Tamino, Papageno, First Priest, Second Priest  
20 'A woman's beauty is beguiling' 1:03
  Second Priest, Speaker, Papageno  
21 'Why, why, why are you in this place of fear?' 3:29
  Three Ladies, Papageno, Tamino, First Priest, Second Priest  
22 Dialogue: 'There she is, the blushing violet' - 2:20
  'All the world is always lusting'  
  Monostatos, Queen of the Night, Pamina  
23 'The wrath of hell is burning in my bosom' 4:01
  Queen of the Night, Pamina, Monostatos, Sarastro  
24 'We worship at the altar' 4:00
25 Dialogue: 'Here we must leave you' 1:20
  First Priest, Second Priest, Papageno, Tamino, Old Woman  
26 'Now for the second time we greet you' 2:14
  Three Boys, Papageno, Pamina  
27 'Now I know that love can vanish' 3:59
  Pamina, Papageno  
28 'O Isis and Osiris, gods all-knowing' 2:41
  Chorus of Priests, Sarastro, Pamina, Tamino  
29 'Will I not see my love again?' 2:54
  Pamina, Sarastro, Tamino  
30 Dialogue: 'Tamino! Tamino. . . Tamino. . .' 1:06
  Papageno, Second Priest  
31 'If only I could meet her' 4:42
  Papageno, Old Woman, Second Priest, Papagena  
32 'Behold, the harbinger of morning' 1:50
  Three Boys  
33 'Are you the man I love the best' 4:21
  Pamina, Three Boys  
34 'The man who dares to tread this path' 3:11
  Two Armed Men, Tamino, Pamina  
35 'Pamina? I hear her calling' 1:19
  Tamino, Two Armed Men  
36 'Tamino, mine, welcome at last' 3:55
  Pamina, Tamino, Two Armed Men  
37 'The fiery furnace could not harm us' 3:17
  Pamina, Tamino, Attendants, Priests  
38 'Papagena! Papagena! Papagena!' 4:30
39 'Play your magic music' 0:42
  Papageno, Three Boys  
40 'Pa-pa-ge-na!' - 'Pa-pa-ge-no!' 2:20
  Papageno, Papagena  
41 'We must be very, very quiet!' 2:23
  Monostatos, Queen of the Night, Three Ladies  
42 'The banner of sunlight' 2:50
  Sarastro, Chorus  
 Barry Banks tenor - Tamino
 Elizabeth Vidal soprano - Queen of the Night
 Rebecca Evans soprano - Pamina
 Majella Cullagh soprano - First Lady
 Sarah Fox soprano - Second Lady
 Diana Montague mezzo-soprano - Third Lady
 Simon Keenlyside baritone - Papageno
 Lesley Garrett soprano - Papagena
 John Tomlinson bass - Sarastro
 John Graham-Hall tenor - Monostatos
 Christopher Purves bass - Speaker, Armed Man, First Priest
 Peter Bronder tenor - Armed Man, Second Priest
  4-10 November 2004  
 Sir Charles Mackerras
The Magic Flute is an opera of paradoxes: on the one hand it’s a charming fairytale – a simple story of lovers in peril, on the other, it’s an allegory, deeply mysterious and rich in symbolism. It is funny yet deadly serious; popular entertainment yet high art, as startlingly original and innovative today as it was when it was written in 1791. It also contains some of the finest vocal music Mozart ever produced. Vast tomes of literature have been devoted to the work and every musicologist has their own theory as to the opera’s ultimate meaning. Such is its genius that it can stand any number of readings, for each interpretation casts new light on its multifaceted narrative. On this glorious new recording a cast of international renown perform the work in English, enabling all the nuances of the drama to be fully appreciated.

This is the premiere recording of the opera in English in a brilliantly idiomatic translation by Jeremy Sams.

Sir Charles Mackerras has spent many years researching performance practice of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries He is a noted authority on Mozart’s operas, having studied many contemporaneous manuscripts and his Mozart recordings are highly regarded. This is the eighth release on the Opera in English label featuring Sir Charles.

Rebecca Evans (Pamina) and Simon Keenlyside (Papageno) are performing in The Magic Flute at the Royal Opera House under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras from February 11 2005. Rebecca Evans will singing Pamina in the Welsh National Opera’s English language production this summer.

You can take the narrative of The Magic Flute at any number of levels. At its simplest it tells the story of a journey from darkness to light. It starts at night, the Queen’s realm, and ends in blazing sunlight, Sarastro’s. At its most complicated, it is well known to be an allegory based on the rituals of Freemasonry.

Mozart broke the operatic mould with The Magic Flute. It was not written for the Viennese Court, as was his previous German opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio. It was not written for a metropolitan opera audience who pretended to understand Italian, but for the Theater auf der Wieden, a rackety old theatre in the suburbs built of wood and only temporary - it has long since vanished. The actor-manager Emanuel Schikaneder, whose troupe had toured widely through German-speaking lands, had taken a lease on the theatre, and wanted to make some money with a bit of popular entertainment, an apparently ramshackle fairy-tale of the kind then very popular in Vienna. There was opportunities for spectacular stage effects, with much flying on wires and use of trapdoors. A pantomime at the Hackney Empire might be a useful analogy.

Shickaneder himself wrote the libretto, almost certainly from members of his company. The libretto, like its source, Liebeskind’s Lulu oder Die Zauberflöte, was set in Egypt - a magical land with serpents, handsome princes and demonic queens. Mozart transcended the fairy-tale format, and you can sense him relishing the freedom that both the format and writing for a popular, operatically uncommitted audience gave him. He was not compelled to fulfil any expectations, no show-off arias, no compulsion to follow conventional form. He could do whatever he wanted, and he did, which is one reason why the opera remains so fresh.

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Indeed, this is on of the most desirable sets in Chandos’ admirable series, worthy to stand comparison with some of the classic accounts in the original German… A real winner
Opera ‘Disc of the month’

Sir Charles Mackerras conducts this enchanting performance with a superb cast headed by Barry Banks and Rebecca Evans, with Simon Keenlyside’s Papageno and John Tomlinson’s Sarastro.
Sunday Telegraph ‘100 Classical Albums you must hear’

Mackerras… is perhaps the world’s wisest and most inquiring Mozartian, and here he gets playing of magical transparency from the LPO… bringing a sense of wonder to the music now rarely experienced in the theatre.
The Sunday Times ‘Classical CD of the Week’

Barry Banks marries ease, expressivity and eloquence to notable effect…
Gramophone on CHAN 3112 (Barry Banks)

The lovely, warm soprano of Rebecca Evans shines as Susanna… she captures the right feeling of sensuality of a woman awaiting her lover on her wedding night…
Classic FM Magazine ‘Disc of the Month’ on CHAN 3113(3) (The Marriage of Figaro)

This may be the finest release yet in Chandos’ Opera in English series: an opera that is singularly appropriate for English-language performance in a recording that is worthy of comparison with most of its German-language predecessors. I enjoyed this ‘Flute’ enormously, in part because of Jeremy Sams’s delightful, witty translation and in part because this is a first-rate performance in almost every way.
Fanfare (USA)

Mackerras has long been one of the most discerning of Mozartians. As ever, he chooses lively but never inflexible tempos, encourages light, period style articulation, and never misses a trick with Mozart’s miraculous woodwind colouring. Linguistic purists will turn up their noses. Others will find this ‘Magic Flute’ as magical as any in the catalogue, irrespective of language.
The Telegraph

CD of the Week
The Guardian

The performance is very good, with some lively singing, both from the soloists and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, excellent orchestral playing from the LPO, and above all that sure sense both of overall direction and of an appreciative ear for detail that characterises Sir Charles Mackerras’s conducting (not least in his feeling for appoggiaturas and light ornamentation).
International Record Review

Rebecca Evanss Ilia is all one expects from this lovely soprano, the voice pure, intonation secure and musicianship impeccable…
The Sunday Telegraph on CHAN 3103(2) (Idomeneo)

This set is the best argument I have heard in ages for the Royal Opera to perform Mozart’s great vernacular Singspiel in English. Rebecca Evans (Pamina) and Simon Keenlyside (Papageno), sang in Covent Garden’s recent revival, as did John Graham-Hall (Monostatos), and they are even better here in their own language, particularly in Jeremy Sams’s witty dialogue. Mackerras, who conducted, is perhaps the world’s wisest and most inquiring Mozartian, and here he gets playing of magical transparency from the LPO, highlighting the wind solos and bringing a sense of wonder to the music now rarely experienced in the theatre.
Sunay Times

No work seems to me to make better sense in the vernacular than Mozart’s concluding masterpiece… All in all, anyone wanting the work in English need no hesitate to acquire this set, the first-ever version in the vernacular on CD.
Gramophone 'Editor's Choice'

Chandos has assembled a superb cast. It is wonderful to have Simon Keenlyside’s incomparable Papageno preserved on disc and clever to bring along Lesley Garrett as a delectable Papagena. Barry banks and Rebecca Evans are ideally matched as Tamino and Pamina, both singing superbly. Elizabeth Vidal is a Queen of the Night who retains her character and is not just a coloratura soprano. Sarastro’s arias are sung with immense authority and richness of tone by John Tomlinson. With Majella Cullagh, Sarah Fox and Diana Montague as an especially well contrasted Three Ladies, John Graham-Hall as Monostatos and Chrisopther Purves as the Speaker (and in two other roles), one could not hope for a finer English-singing cast.
The Sunday Telegraph

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