MOZART Die Zauberflöte Ziesak/Sumi Jo/Heilmann/Kra 4332102

. . . the conductor's new recording . . . advances strong claims of its own . . . Sir Georg's thinking about the piece has evolved into a streamlined conception that . . . makes for a taut, forward-moving presentation . . . [Michael Kraus] has a deep, full baritone . . . He gives a winning performance . . . it's unusual to have the extreme roles, the Queen of the Night (Sumi Jo) and Sarastro (Kurt Moll), so strongly cast, pride of place has to go to Uwe Heilmann's gorgeous Tamino because of the way a first-class Tamino can galvanize a performance . . . [Mr. Heilmann's tenor] has a full lyric bloom that does considerable justice to the role's frequent sublimities . . . [Sumi Jo]: the opening of her entrance aria is quite moving, and the fireworks are well sprung. Mr. Moll's robustly pealing Sarastro is a familiar commodity, and he seems to enjoy the conductor's inclination to get on with it . . . [Ruth Ziesak, as Pamina,] can really get the voice in motion . . . Heinz Zednik, now singing quite lightly, is a fluent Monostatos . . . Andreas Schmidt, not having to sing particularly high, is an excellent Speaker; his great scene with Tamino is as evenly matched as any on records, and is one of the best demonstrations of Mr. Solti's ability to achieve through purposeful balance and momentum what other conductors achieve through adjustment of tempo, color and weight. (Another example: the trials by fire and water, with those mesmerizing soft timpani strokes.)