PA . . . PA . . . PA . . . PA-PA . . .
Thanks to the intervention of the Three Boys, not only does Papageno decide not to hang himself, but his bells enable him to summon his sweetheart Papagena. Just before the final scene – in which the Queen of the Night, attended by Monostatos and the Three Ladies, fails in her sombre designs and the chorus celebrates the victory of the sun over the forces of darkness – the birdcatcher and his bride-to-be dream of a long line of little Papagenos and Papagenas. And so we end our serial with this delightful duet!
Listen to the excerpt:
Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Papagena!
Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Papageno!
Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Pa – Papagena!/Papageno!
Are you now all mine?
Now I am all yours.
Then be my sweet little wife!
Then be my heart’s little dove!
What joy it will be
If the gods are kind enough
To reward our love with children,
Such dear little children.
First a little Papageno.
Then a little Papagena.
Then another Papageno.
Then another Papagena.
It is the greatest of all joys
When many, many, many, many
Pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, geno
Pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, gena
Are their happy parents’ blessing.
Even if we try to be as faithful as possible to the tempos required by Mozart, as reported by his contemporaries, application of this system still offers more than enough room for a personal imaginative response. A tempo must be capable of remaining flexible within a section, above all in ensembles, following the course of the action in both the most ‘elevated’ and the ‘lowest’ (buffo) moments. Still greater agility is called for in outright comic scenes like the trio for Monostatos, Pamina and Papagena (no.6) or of course the buffo duet for Papageno and Papagena in Finale II.