Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (In Swedish) - Söderström, Vikström, Wixell, Tyrén, Nordin, Talvel; Sandberg. Stockholm, 1962
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Although in Swedish, this performance of Die Zauberflöte manages to capture all of the whimsy and magic of Mozart’s Singspiel. Elisabeth Söderström is an ideal Pamina; Angelic in voice and resolute in temperament. Ingvar Wixell’s suave baritone is almost wasted on Papageno’s “Schikaneder-friendly” vocal writing, but his interpretive skills are far from wasted as he brings a musical sensitivity that I didn’t know he possessed. Arne Tyrén brings all the necessary gravitas to Sarastro even if his voice lacks true profundo quality. Fans of the Ingmar Bergman’s Magic Flute will be pleased to hear Birgit Nordin deliver a fiery Queen of the Night. If the high fs are not the most secure, she makes up for it with steely high notes that brought to my mind another Swede named Birgit… The rest of the ensemble is excellent with Barbro Ericson as the Third Lady and Martti Talvela as the Second Armored Guard standing out. The sound is fair to good.