Saturday, February 04, 2017

Music to relax after campaigning: Queen of the Night's aria from The Magic Flute

In my opinion the Queen of the Night's aria from Mozart's "The Magic Flute" is possibly the most beautiful thing ever written for the human voice. Sadly my command of the German language is not particularly good, and consequently I heard this many times on its own without understanding what was being sung. Then I finally got round to watching a performance of the opera and discovered to my horror what the words actually mean.

For obvious reasons I'm not going to explain it here, and if you might at some stage want to watch "The Magic Flute" and don't want any spoilers, be warned that the subtitles on the clip below may tell you more than you wish to know. I will simply explain that the exquisite sounds of the aria convey a thoroughly evil message.

The contrast between the beautiful music and evil words is, however, part of the power which this piece has. And even if you cannot understand a word, it is hauntingly lovely.

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