Der Stein der Weisen
Der Stein der Weisen, oder die Zauberinsel (English: The Philosopher's Stone, or the Enchanted Isle) is a two-act singspiel jointly composed by Johann Baptist Henneberg, Benedikt Schack, Franz Xaver Gerl, Emanuel Schikaneder, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1790 (K. 592a). The libretto was written by Schikaneder.
Der Stein der Weisen was composed using a "team approach" in which each composer contributed individual sections of the piece. All five wrote parts of Act II, and all except Mozart wrote parts of Act I. Henneberg composed the work's overture. Schikaneder wrote the libretto for the entire piece. The text is based on a fairy tale from Christoph Martin Wieland's Dschinnistan, published in the late 1780s.
All five were later involved in The Magic Flute: Mozart as composer, Schikaneder as librettist, impresario and performer (Papageno), Henneberg as conductor, and Schack and Gerl as performers (respectively Tamino and Sarastro). Der Stein der Weisen may have provided a model for that work, as the two have a similar structure and source.
Reception and study
The work was initially popular, but was largely absent from the standard repertoire for the two centuries following Mozart's death. In 1996, American musicologist David Buch announced the discovery of a portion of the score written in Mozart's hand. This was taken by some to indicate that Der Stein der Weisen was a previously unknown Mozart work, although in fact only the discovered portion ("Nun liebes Weibchen", known as the "cat duet") and two sections of Act II were by him.
- Oestreich, James (2 November 1998). "All ears on an opera recently linked to Mozart". The New York Times.
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- "Der Stein der Weisen / Boston Baroque". ArkivMusic. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Rushton, Julian (2006). Mozart. Oxford University Press. p. 208. ISBN 9780199726912.