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 mentioned 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 Magic Flute.  In doing so, we will, first and foremost, encounter Mozart and his creation of this opera in 1791, the last year of his life, and, secondly, we will also have a change to explore the dynamics of the highly dramatic crossroads of 18th century absolutism and the age of enlightenment with its undercurrents of the forebodings of the French Revolution.

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!




W.A. Mozart

TIME TABLE
A brief overview of Mozart's life


Frontispiece of the
original Edition

CREATION HISTORY
Let's explore facts instead of Mozart legends!


Scene from the
1st Act

SYNOPSIS
Good and evil turned upside down...
...and straightened out in the end!


Emanuel
Schikaneder

LIBRETTO
Schikander's? Giesecke's? libretto
in German


Josefa Hofer,
the first
Queen of the Night

MUSIC CRITICISM
Who is "right": Alfred Einstein,
Hildesheimer, Solomon
or Gutman?


Beethoven
around. 1803

BEETHOVEN AND THE "MAGIC FLUTE"
A theme with "variations"....


Mozart, 1788

INTERESTING LINKS
What others wrote on the subject...