Kiri Te Kanawa Sings Mozart: Pamina’s Aria from “The Magic Flute”

The second act of Mozart’s The Magic Flute contains one of opera’s most beautifully wrenching expressions of despair and lament.

Pamina, the daughter of the demonic Queen of the Night, is hurt when Tamino will not speak to her. Not realizing that Tamino is bound by a vow of silence, she believes that he no longer loves her. Ach, ich fühl’s (“Ah, I can feel it”) is Pamina’s intimate, heartbroken soliloquy. It is set in G minor, perhaps Mozart’s most tragic key. Throughout the aria, the instrumental voices of the orchestra engage in a tender and intimate conversation with the vocal line. They seem to offer angelic consolation. The bassoon is the same dark, mournful voice we hear throughout the music of Tchaikovsky. The continuous “heartbeat” of the strings falters in the final bars, accompanying the lines, “If you do not feel love’s yearning, I shall find peace in death!”

This 1990 recording features the celebrated New Zealand-born lyric soprano, Kiri Te Kanawa:

Recordings

  • Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K.620, Ach, ich fühl’s, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Neville Marriner, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Amazon

Featured Image: Kiri Te Kanawa

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “Kiri Te Kanawa Sings Mozart: Pamina’s Aria from “The Magic Flute””

  1. Kiri Te Kanawa conveys the heartbreak in this hauntingly beautiful aria.
    In 2009 I had the good fortune of attending in Boston a recital by Dame KIri and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Both Kiri and Frederica, affectionately called Flicka, gained audience rapport effortlessly with their delightful charm and wit. The performance had lots of encores, an adoring, appreciative audience, a great deal of banter and storytelling, all interspersed with moments of glorious singing.

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