Beethoven, Mozart and the "Magic Flute"
Scene from the First Act
(by Joseph u. Peter Schaffer
- Vienna, Museen der Stadt)
In a German radio broadcast series on Beethoven, the German music critic Joachim Kaiser mentions Beethoven's enchantment with this Mozart opera and attributes it to the great variety of musical expressions in the work. We might feel inclined to agree with Kaiser, if we consider that the predilection he refers to is that of the composer of the Ninth Symphony with its Final Chorus and its equally wide range of emotions, musical thoughts and concepts expressed therein.
However, how can we, as lay people, gain a better understanding of the great variety of musical expressions found in Mozart's last German opera? Perhaps we should embark on another journey, namely on that into the world of the creation of this opera in Mozart's last year, in 1791 in particular, and of the world of highly dramatic crossroads of 18th century absolutism on the one hand and the age of revolution on the other hand., in general.
Such a journey might, perhaps, prepare us for an enriched experience of our next enjoyment of the Magic Flute in a live performance.
With this in mind, we wish you an enjoyable reading and listening experience with all of the material offered here!