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The Magic Flute Overture

Mozart arr. Nigel Wood


Sheet Music

PDF E-Edition:





SS AAA TTT BB (+opt.Sno, Bs/Cb, Timp.)




Premiered on September 30, 1791 in Vienna, and conducted by the composer, The Magic Flute Overture is one of the supreme orchestral works of the 18th century. Rich in sonority, concise in construction, profligate in melodic invention and masterful in harmonic surety, it balances the seemingly polar opposites of the opera — profundity and comedy — with surpassing ease and conviction. The slow introduction opens with the triple chords associated with the solemn ceremonies of the priests, the Overture’s only thematic borrowing from the opera. The Allegro is built on a tune of opera buffa jocularity treated, most remarkably, as a fugue. The complementary theme, is characterized by its sensuous ascending chromatic scales. The balance of the Overture follows the traditional sonata-allegro form, with the triple chords of the priests reiterated to mark the beginning of the development section. The Magic Flute, wrote Eric Blom, “contains elements of greater idealistic aspiration than any other stage work by Mozart…. It is a gem of many facets — and one of inestimable value.”

An arrangement for saxophone choir was initially created by Nigel Wood for The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain. This was recorded on their album “Sax Circus” in 2010.

The published arrangement has been modified for a slightly smaller ensemble – the soprillo saxophone part has been omitted and the sopranino, bass, contrabass saxophones and timpani parts are optional.

The E-Edition PDF bundle comes with the following parts:

Standard parts
Soprano Saxophone 1
Soprano Saxophone 2
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
Alto Saxophone 3
Tenor Saxophone 1
Tenor Saxophone 2
Tenor Saxophone 3
Baritone Saxophone 1
Baritone Saxophone 2

Alternative & optional parts
Sopranino Saxophone (optional)
Bass Saxophone (optional & alternative to Contrabass Saxophone)
Contrabass Saxophone (optional & alternative to Bass Saxophone)
Timpani (optional)

“The Magic Flute Overture” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.


“…Six of the tracks were delivered via arrangements which had the effect of evoking an ‘alternative’ sort of ensemble. For example: Overture from The Magic Flute and Bolero, evoked a symphony orchestra”. (from a review of The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain’s CD ‘Sax Circus’)
Kenneth Morris – Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine, Autumn 2010

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