Here is the "armoured men" song, in the original libretto (from The Authentic Magic Flute Libretto
, pp. 250-251, unfortunately not in the online excerpts, but the German is the same at http://www.aria-database.com/translatio ... _flute.txt
2 geharnischte Männer
Der welcher wandert diese Stresse voll Beschwerden,
Wird rein durch Feuer, Wasser, Luft und Erden.
Wenn er des Todes Schrecken überwinden kann,
Schwingt er sich aus der Erde Himmel=an!
Erleuchtet wird er dann im Stande seyn
Sich den Mysterien der Isis ganz zu weih'n.
(2 armed men
He who wanders this path full of hardships
Becomes pure through fire, water, air, and earth.
If he can overcome the terror of death,
He lifts himself from the earth heavenward.
Enlightened he will then be able
To devote himself completely to the mysteries of Isis.)
Yes, the Sefer Yetsira
is a possible source. But I've seen no evidence that Mozart knew it, although many Masons certainly would have. He did know Sethos
, which has the same three elements.
Technically, Magic Flute
is Mozart's 22nd opera. He finished the overture after Clemenza di Tito
had already premiered (the ink was still wet when it got to the musicians, the legend says). Many listings of the operas have Magic Flute
as his last opera.
I thought of another possible planetary correspondence. The Moon and the Sun are a couple. So the Sun might be the Queen of the Night's dead husband. Then Sarastro, although devoted to the dead husband, could be Jupiter. That set of correspondences has the advantage that it uses all seven planets.
In the Besancon deck, of course, Jupiter appears in place of the Pope, both of whom would be my candidate in the tarot for Sarastro. The metal corresponding to Jupiter was not only tin, but also an amalgam of silver and gold. Thus also Sarastro embodies both Osiris and Isis, Sun and Moon, until Tamino and Pamina can take his place. Jupiter's castration of Saturn then corresponds to Sarastro's confinement of Monostatos under the earth at the end. (There was an alchemical equivalent of this. Conti, in his Mythologies
of 1551, writes (Conti's Mythologies
, ed. DiMatteo p. 81):
...because this "Jove" carries off with himself the "virile parts," that is, cuts off and separates the sulphur hidden within the salt, the residue being received into a vessel placed for the reception of it, he is said to have cut off the potency of Saturn. And since salt sinks down in water, "in the sea," Venus is said to be born from this compound of salt and sulphur.
Likewise we have Pamina's triumph at the end, having united with Tamino, her Mars = sulphur.
The Queen of the Night, correspondingly, has some Juno characteristics, namely, her antagonism toward Sarastro, similar to Juno's antagonism toward Jupiter. The Italian article's characterization of the Queen of the Night as "heaven of the philosophers" might fit Juno better than Luna, too: Juno was the upper part of the air, i.e. the ether. The Milky Way was said to be the milk from her breasts. She is rather sinister in alchemy (at least in the c. 1420 German manuscript of moralized Fulgentius that I examined in another thread; she is also in Conti's Mythologies
, which says (p. 81):
She [Juno] is the Queen of the gods because she controls, dissolves, joins, separates, and constrains the metals, which are named after the various gods.
It seems to me that Mozart and his pals would have known about the Besancon and its Juno and Jupiter, and also about Juno in alchemy. The Besancon typically had a man and a woman on the Sun card, which fits the end of The Magic Flute
. All I've read is that it was used in the southeastern part of Bavaria. Also, if they read de Mellet (given that Mozart once stayed with an original subscriber to de Gebelin's series), they would have known about Jupiter and Juno from him, because the deck he refers to is a Besancon. I wonder what deck they actually would have used in Vienna and Salzburg.
I listened to Philosopher's Stone (Stein der Weisen)
on CD last night, also written by Shickaneder a year earlier than Flute
. Not only are the story and most of the characters similar to Flute
, but the music of Flute
is in many instances a rewritten, improved version of Stone's
. There is a 3rd disc in the album in which a musicologist illustrates the parallels. The simplest example: the magic bird in Stone
, represented musically by a flute, becomes the magic flute in Flute
, playing a similar tune. As I've mentioned, Stone
has 22 musical sections, if you count the overtures to both acts (using the section numbers provided by David Buch, Stein der Weisen
, p. xxxviii and p. lvii).