Editors’ Notes Mozart’s final opera, premiered in 1791, the year of his death, is also arguably his greatest work. Part love story, part comedy—and entirely puzzling—Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) is full of in-jokes and barefaced mischief alongside some of music’s most rapturous moments. So it requires musicians who can tread this delicate balance between absurdity and serious art. And that’s what we have here, including Albina Shagimuratova, whose Queen of the Night outshines her rivals with her invective and musical precision. Rolando Villazón’s Papageno is full of quirky charm and, in Klaus Florian Vogt, the love-struck Tamino has a tenor voice to die for. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Yannick Nézet-Séguin somehow blend intimacy and grandeur for, yes, a magical recording.

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Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act 1
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Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act 2
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More by Rolando Villazón, Regula Mühlemann, Franz-Josef Selig, Albina Shagimuratova, Christiane Karg, Klaus Florian Vogt, Paul Schweinester, Tareq Nazmi, Levy Sekgapane, Douglas Williams, Johanni van Oostrum, Corinna Scheurle, Claudia Huckle, Aurelius Sangerknaben Calw, RIAS Kammerchor, Justin Doyle, Jory Vinikour, Chamber Orchestra of Europe & Yannick Nézet-Séguin