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MOZART in FanFaire:
Der Stein / Die Zauberflote
Marriage of Figaro
FOOD & MUSIC
|Parallelisms in The Philosopher's Stone and The Magic Flute|
1. Both are Singspiels - lighthearted opera in the vernacular German
which includes spoken dialogue between musical numbers, akin perhaps to
2. The librettos for both operas were written by Emanuel Schikaneder - impressario, actor, playwright, composer- who also produced both operas for his Theater auf der Wieden;
3.Both were sung by the same company of singers and led by the same conductor.
Both were adapted from Christoph Martin Wieland's collection of fairy tales,
Dschinnistan and therefore have similar story lines
The operas have parallel roles/voice parts - check these out:
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The Philosopher's Stone can be doubly appreciated - for its music
and for the light it sheds on The Magic Flute - and indeed on masterpieces
considered to be works of genius. Clearly the Stone was parent to the Flute,
and Mozart, the musical genius,
did not always work in isolation. The more famous Tamino/Pamina were foreshadowed
by Nadir/Nadine, Papageno/Papagena by Lubano/Lubanara, and so forth. It
can be said that in the "precursor" music of The Philosopher's
Stone, composed by men not thought to be in his league, Mozart
had a model for his masterpiece. Yet it may be that Mozart
was really more involved than the "cat duet" and the two other
short segments attributed to him in the Hamburg manuscript discovered by
musicologist David Buch. Or, could it be that Mozart
sometimes borrowed his friends' ideas? But those are questions best left
for scholars to ponder. Our lot as amateurs is to just sit back and enjoy
the cat's meow.... ooops!.... the MUSIC!
* Musicologists speculate that had Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer (who later sang the Queen of the Night) had not been on maternity leave at the time, the role of the beneficent god Astromonte would have been re-created for a soprano. The parallelisms in the two operas are discussed by Martin Pearlman, Director of the Boston Baroque on the third disc of the 3-CD set premiere recording of The Philosopher's Stone.
Audio clips from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte are from the recording by Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis, cond. Philips 411 459-2 (1984). Tamino - Peter Schreier; Queen of the Night - Luciana Serra.
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