MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)
Die Zauberflöte K620 (1791)
Matti Salminen (bass) – Sarastro; Christoph Strehl (tenor) – Tamino; Elena Mosuc (soprano) – Queen of the Night; Julia Kleiter (soprano) – Pamina; Ruben Drole (baritone) – Papageno; Eva Liebau (soprano) – Papagena; Garbriel Bermúdez (bass) – Speaker; Sandra Trattnigg (soprano) – First Lady; Martina Welschenbach (mezzo) – Second Lady; Katharina Peetz (contralto) – Third Lady; Rudolf Schasching (tenor) – Monostatos; Andreas Winkler (tenor) – First Priest, First Armed Man; Morgan Moody (bass) – Second Priest, Tomasz Slawinski (bass) – Second Armed Man; Soloists of the Boys choir Tölz (treble) – Three Boys.
Chorus and Orchestra of the Zurich Opera/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
rec. live, Zurich Opera House, February 2007, Swiss Television/3sat
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 004400734367 [125:00 (incl. Bonus: 44:00) + 101:00]


Experience Classicsonline

For most opera-lovers, this Zauberflöten DVD will likely be disqualified if only on account of its wildly mediocre singing. Perhaps the voices were not well recorded, either. It’s difficult to tell what or who the main culprits are but none of the singers – save perhaps Matti Salminen’s Sarastro – are particularly worth listening to.

That is a shame in principle, because I find a Nikolaus Harnoncourt–Martin Kušej Mozart-collaboration a very exciting proposition given their spectacular and dramatic La Clemenza di Tito production from Salzburg. Too bad, then, that the production matches the singing. 

This is not on account of any lack of ideas or their quality, or a surplus of director’s ego – but sadly for execution. Kušej and stage designer Rolf Glittenberg explain their principally genial concept of setting The Magic Flute as a string of fantastical episodes in the mysteriously dark cellar of a house. This is all from a child’s point of view and imagination however the reality of the production – half “Terminal”, half “Snakes on a Plane” – ruins it. 

Had the envisioned setting been translated more effectively, the Three Ladies “of the night” being blind might have come off better. The grayish basement-imp of a Queen of the Night might have invoked a dreamy or nightmarish sense. And instead of covering Papageno with feathers, dousing his suit with bird shit might have been “compellingly effective” - as a Vienna on-line magazine described the production. Instead, according to Zurich’s major daily, it’s not “astoundingly clever”; it’s just too clever by half. 

A good modern Magic Flute would be highly welcome, and if Kušej were to try again, I’d be very eager indeed to see it. But this wimpishly sung production can’t possibly be the realization of his own ambitions. Harnoncourt’s flexible and pointed conducting is not nearly enough to rescue the project. 

Jens F. Laurson 




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.