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Orff: Carmina Burana

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 29 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B004I6PWEG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Carmina burana
2. O Fortuna
3. Fortune plango vulnera
4. Veris leta facies
5. Omnia sol remperat
6. Ecce gratum
7. Tanz
8. Floret silva
9. "Chramer, gip die Varwe mir"
10. Reie
11. Were diu werlt alle min
12. Estuans interius
13. Olim lacus colueram
14. Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis
15. In taberna quando sumus
16. Amor volat undique
17. "Dies, nox et omnia"
18. Stetit puella
19. Circa mea pectora
20. Si puer cum puellula
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Product Description

The recording's producers bill it as an "audio spectacular," and indeed, its sound is big, full, and surprisingly detailed, considering the large performing forces involved. It's also a live concert performance, that, in spite of some sluggish tempos, holds up well against the best studio versions thanks to a first-rate chorus and soloists. --David Vernier --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
The real highlights of this recording (as stated by another reviewer) are the singing of Bonney and Michaels Moore. Bonney sings beautifully on "In Trutina" and Michaels Moore has a wonderful tone. Lopardo is straining in places and you can really hear it. The Vienna Philharmonic does a fine job, as does Previn, but in places I found myself wanting to hear the chorus a little better, as well as the brass and percussion. If you can get past the below average sound quality, it certainly isn't a bad choice. Unfortunately for this version the competition is quite good. I prefer Previn's earlier EMI recording to this one, but if you want a great performance coupled with excellent sound my recommendation would be the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Herbert Blomstedt on Decca. It is head and shoulders above this one.
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By A Customer on May 2 1999
Format: Audio CD
The sound in this recording is, as stated above, big and full, and the orchestra plays excellently. The chorus sounds good, but unfortunately is too quiet in relation to the orchestra. Previn does a wonderful job conducting, both in this and in the Emi recording (Emi-56444), though a few tempos are too slow. The baritone, Anthony Michaels-Moore, sings beautifully and fully, and is one of the best I have heard in this piece. I would prefer John Aler, in Philips' Ozawa recording (Philips-22363), to Frank Lopardo as tenor, but Barbara Bonney is perfect as the soprano, and especially shines in Dulcissime. Overall, the recording is one of the best I have heard.
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Format: Audio CD
Andre Previn leads the Vienna Philharmonic and its chorus in a spellbinding live performance of Orff's Carmina Burana. Unfortunately it doesn't sound nearly as electrifying as Ormandy's classic recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra. For instance Deutsche Grammophon made the mistake of not emphasizing the chorus's singing, so in this recording it is the Vienna Philharmonic's excellent playing which tends to dominate - and occasionally dominate - the voices of the choir. Still it is blessed with magnificient singing from soloists Lopardo, Michaels-Moore, and especially, Bonney. Fans of Carl Orff's most popular work will not be disappointed with this recording.
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Format: Audio CD
One thing is for certain: the engineering of the chorus is far too recessed in this Previn re-recording. That is NOT a minor issue to me. It also sounds fairly "slack" and uncommitted. Hardly jubilant where it needs to be. Nor did I find the recording that wide-ranging either. I didn't even care for the soloists who were largely uninspired as everything else. Junk! Better keep the earlier Previn, which was altogether a more sensual performance. But my nod goes to Levine, overall...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Breathtaking Vocals June 13 2006
By Amelia L. Day - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is truly a masterwork recording, with no room left for error. Excellence especially on the parts of the soprano and counter-tenor. Enunciation of the lyrics is clear, and the CD comes with full libretto, translated into a number of languages. An absolutely stunning rendition of Orff's work.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Masterful ! Jan. 31 2010
By R. Germinario - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wow! What an amazing recording by Chailly!

I`m not much into choral works. I prefer my symphonies and concertos. I`ve always found this piece, however, quite enjoyable, having heard fine renditions from the local libraries by Jochum on DG, Dutoit`s lovely Montreal on Decca, and Levine`s impressive DG Chicago recording from the `80`s. Yet none of these performances urged me to actually buy one.

However, when I first heard this 1983 version, I was completely entranced. In Trutina by Silvia Greenberg brought tears to my eyes. O Fortuna was more intense than any of the previously mentioned performances, especially with the 2-beat drum resonating fiercely.

The tempi are perfect: very consistently paced. The sound is fresh and sharp, as many early stereo recordings from Decca in the 1980`s were.

For Orff (and as well for Mahler 3), Chailly is the best choice for me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Warmly felt, spontaneous, exciting, and beautifully sung May 16 2014
By Long-Time Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
(This is a remastered release of Slatkin's 1990s recording; the sound here has marginally more presence than the original release.)

Slatkin here clearly outdoes a number of other well-known recordings of Carmina Burana. His performance is notable for its warmth, energy, and visceral excitement, tinged with baudiness where appropriate; there is also beautiful singing and a lovely handling of melody. In those respects it is clearly better than the somewhat cool and reserved Daniel Harding release on DGG, and also clearly better than the early RCA Seiji Ozawa, which also suffers from a rather square, solemn approach that misses some of the necessary festive quality and sense of abandon. The extra energy and flexibility of Slatkin's conducting pays dividends in terms of a more natural and spontaneous quality that benefits Orff's work greatly. Even James Levine, who basically handles the piece very well, sounds stiff and overly refined by comparison.

A natural comparison will be Jochum's reading on DGG, long hailed as a definitive version. The direct utterance of Orff's Carmina Burana needs playing and singing that can match its simplicity and unaffected charm. Both Jochum and Slatkin have that, and certainly Jochum directs one of the strongest performances on record, though he could relax a little more in some of the slower sections. Both also have warm and fairly close-up sound that adds to their earthiness. Where Slatkin wins out is in the quality of his singers. Haken Hagegard acquits himself quite well throughout, with pleasing tone and delivery; John Aler's tenor does better, I think, in the Olim lacus colueram; and finally, Jochum's Gundula Janowitz can't match the touching, unaffected charm of Sylvia McNair in the In Trutina, or the ease and beauty of her delivery in the Dulcissime.

All in all, this is a thoroughly delightful trip through the world of Carmina Burana. (And I thank the other Amazon reviewers, whose enthusiasm encouraged me to buy this.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great place to start Jan. 24 2014
By Paul S. Lewis - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Orff's "Carmina Burana," has been a favorite of mine for many years.
My first exposure was way back in the 60's when my Mother was in the Rackham Symphony Choir and rehearsing for a performance with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. There was a lot of practice, and a lot of effort to just get the coral work right.
She was a professional singer, and was challenged by the diction and pace required to produce the results you will hear in the recordings. I can only imagine the practice and dedication the soloists and orchestra have to give to bring this magnificent piece of music to life.

My first live exposure as an adult was a few years ago, when it was preformed in Huntsville, Alabama. Carmina Burana, live and in person, was an awesome experience! It took me a good half hour to settle from the thrill of hearing that superb music live. My advice is to go to a live performance at your first opportunity.

Well, for the most part we are stuck with music from a box. That is a good thing if the system you have can deliver. Big speakers, and plenty of amps trump earphones; even the best, if you want to get the most out of your recording.

Many reading this review may also have multiple copies of the "Carmina Burana." This review is for my sixth: The 1984 Decca/London. RSO Berlin and Choir, Richard Chailly.

Okay, so why six recordings of the same thing? Well, it is the same music for sure. But, there are a lot of subtle differences among the recordings because of the interpretation of the music as well as the country where the performance is recorded. Considering this, have a look at Classical Net which covers this base completely. A brief look at this site says to me that there is no perfect recording of Carmina Burana out there. That explains multiple copies.

Just as a quick example, take the Naxos recording with Eva Jenisova, Soprano. Characterized as, "slippery" by one reviewer. Okay, but to me, she has the most powerful, soaring vocal quality among the Soprano's in my collection. Yet, any Soprano, Baritone, Tenor, Counter-tenor, Chorus or Orchestra has to be special to pull off Carmina Burana. So, pick several recordings based on what you learn from the reviews and enjoy the variety.

Now, my bottom line for this recording: Just fine. A great place to start. The soloists are excellent and the overall recording is very good. One shortfall is that the Small Choir is underrepresented in the audio. They do a wonderful job with some stunning diction which I would ask you to discover for yourself.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A winner of unexpected provenance March 10 2012
By Ralph Moore - Published on
I have no snobbish hang-ups about enjoying this work and already own very satisfying accounts from Mehta, Mata and de Burgos but this one goes to the top of the list by virtue of its rough, searing energy and sense of humour. Günter Wand is hardly the first conductor you would think of as being suited to doing justice to this music in that he has something of the sober Kapellmeister about him but here he directs a scintillating performance, giving his choir, soloists and orchestra the latitude to take expressive risks and throw themselves wholeheartedly into this medieval pastiche with all the requisite passion and even crudity it requires. Special mention must be made of the baritone soloist Peter Binder, of whom I have never heard but who ranks with and beyond the very best and who is, to my ears, far preferable to the hectoring D-F-D. He is much smoother and resonant of tone when it is required but also possesses both a lovely falsetto and a really biting top. Neither the tenor nor the soprano is as captivating as, say, John Aler or Lucia Popp or Sumi Jo respectively but they by no means let the side down and there is an argument for having a tenor whose voice exhibits more buttock-clenching strain than beauty; Aler makes the Roast Swan solo sound almost too beautiful.

This is a live recording in superb sound; very few coughs and a real sense of space. A palpable sense of enjoyment runs through it and it sounds much closer in spirit to the bawdy riot that Orff surely intended rather than a decorous concert performance. The sopranos in the chorus are a bit stretched and there is the odd wobbler but in general artistic standards are remarkably high, testament to the talent in depth available in and to regional German orchestras.

Buy this and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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