Magic Flute, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. Joseph Heidenreich)

General Info

Year: 1791 / 1977
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Musica Rara
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $59.75


4. Overture - 4:30
5. Zum Ziele fuhrt dich diese Bahn - 2:00
6. Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton - 2:25


Full Score
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Horn in F I-II


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Eighteenth-century Europe saw the rise of a monied elite who, in an attempt to further their social standing, hired musicians to accompany their meals, soirées, and large social events. The wind octet proved to be a perfect ensemble for this purpose. Dubbed the Harmonie, these musicians (two oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons) played reductions of famous operas, symphonies, and folk tunes for their well-to-do patrons. Many of the best arrangements were created by the composer of the original work. In July of 1782, Mozart wrote this note to his father: “I am up to my eyes in work, but next Sunday I have to arrange my opera (Abduction from the Seraglio) for wind instruments. If I don't, someone will get to it before I do and reap the profits. You have no idea how difficult it is to arrange a work of this kind for wind instruments, so that it suits these instruments and yet loses none of its effect."

In an effort to capture the spirit of the opera, Joseph Heidenreich wrote this harmonie version of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) with an ear to both the charm of the score and the sumptuous legato required of Mozart’s singers. In every number except the overture, the solo oboe and clarinet reflect the timbre and expressive quality of Mozart’s original vocal vision. In keeping with the technical limitations of the instruments of Heidenreich’s time, the development within the overture is removed to avoid any key change that would not have been possible. In order to cover for essential string parts, the horns are often called to play dolcissimo in their most difficult, clarino register. The illusion of a complete orchestra is rounded out by the bassoons who drive the harmonic and rhythmic movement of the overture, group numbers, and arias.

- Program Note by Riley Nagel for New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds concert program, 27 January 2021

The Magic Flute (German: Die Zauberflöte), K. 620, is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form during the time it was written that included both singing and spoken dialogue. The work premiered on 30 September 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, just two months before the composer's premature death.

In this opera, the Queen of the Night persuades Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from captivity under the high priest Sarastro; instead, he learns the high ideals of Sarastro's community and seeks to join it. Separately, then together, Tamino and Pamina undergo severe trials of initiation, which end in triumph, with the Queen and her cohorts vanquished. The earthy Papageno, who accompanies Tamino on his quest, fails the trials completely but is rewarded anyway with the hand of his ideal female companion, Papagena.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Symphonic Winds (Riley Vogel, conductor) - 3 February 2021
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Concert Band (J.T. Womack, conductor) - 7 December 2020
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Chamber Players (Chris Kaatz, conductor) - 21 January 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • The Magic Flute, Wikipedia Accessed 7 December 2020
  • Mozart, W.; Heidenreich, J. (1977). The Magic Flute [score], Musica Rara: London.