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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly incredible recording
This recording is far and away the best performance of Carmina Burana. The mood and feeling of each poem are incredible in their power. Both takes of "O Fortuna" are more threatening and potent than any other I have ever heard. "Fortune plango vulnera" ties with the second version of "O Fortuna" as my favorite song and "In taberna...
Published on Sept. 29 2000

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best version by a longshot
I have six different recordings of this masterpiece, and this particular recording is probably my least favourite of them all. It's jarring to hear sprightly passages played too slowly, making them seem to plod along -- and it's even worse to hear sensuous and languid portions like "Cour D'Amours" and "Uf Dem Anger" played too quickly, as if they were all in a hurry to...
Published on Nov. 12 2009 by Tom Trueman


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly incredible recording, Sept. 29 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This recording is far and away the best performance of Carmina Burana. The mood and feeling of each poem are incredible in their power. Both takes of "O Fortuna" are more threatening and potent than any other I have ever heard. "Fortune plango vulnera" ties with the second version of "O Fortuna" as my favorite song and "In taberna quando sumus" is a close third. are Jochum has truly recorded THE definitive Carmina Burana.
There are some very minor downsides to the recording. Occasionaly, a page turn can be heard, but I believe this only adds to the vitality of the perfomance. My one real quibble is Janowitz. The Amazon editorial review is largely correct - in Dulcissime, she sounds rather strained. It doesn't bother me as it does some people, possibly because I'm not a singer. However, Dulcissime a :34 song, and given the true brilliance of this recording, it can be easily overlooked.
Some VERY minor quibbles I have with the recording: - first, there seems to be some controversy over the spelling of the town and monestary from where the Latin text is supposed to have originated. Most liner notes translate "Carmina Burana" as "Songs from Benediktbeuren", including this version. However, some people hold that "Burana" refers to Benediktbeurn rather than -beuren, which is a more common German ending. A small difference, to be sure. Also, there are some errors in the Latin text (the full original text in Latin and sometimes German is provided, with running English translations). The earlies example is in "Fortune plango vulnera", in the third stanza, where the Latin reads "nam sub axe legimus/Hecubam reginam." The provided translation is "for under the axis is written/Queen Hecuba." Problem: legimus means "we write", not "it is written." That would be legitur. Also, in various places throughtout the text, what would be "mihi" in Classical Latin becomes "michi" in this text. I'm not a Medievalist, and I don't know if this is an alternate form or just an error. Certainly, these are insignificant issues. I only mention them because they exist - they of course do not harm the listening experience in any way.
This recording was performed in 1968. When I first listened to the recording, I didn't know that and I thought it was a more recent recording. The sound quality is beautiful. It has depth and vigor and power that is truly amaziing.
Please, don't be discouraged by any of the very minor trifles I have mentioned above. If you are looking for a recording, buy this one. Any other would be a waste of your money when this truly incredible recording is available.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best version by a longshot, Nov. 12 2009
By 
Tom Trueman "language scholar" (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
I have six different recordings of this masterpiece, and this particular recording is probably my least favourite of them all. It's jarring to hear sprightly passages played too slowly, making them seem to plod along -- and it's even worse to hear sensuous and languid portions like "Cour D'Amours" and "Uf Dem Anger" played too quickly, as if they were all in a hurry to get home. It ruins the effect completely.

And Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? I actually winced, hearing him in his solo passages, where he's supposed to sound impassioned and suffering, to hear him warbling away like he thought he was singing lieder. Sorry, no. If you want to hear how it all SHOULD sound, buy the CD with Charles Dutoit conducting the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, which is the finest version I've ever heard -- the best use of tempo, the best diction, and the best soloists by far.

And PLEASE, let's get something straight: "Carmina" does NOT rhyme with "Christina", it rhymes with "stamina". "Carmen" is a second-declension neuter noun in Latin, as is "stamen", and in the nominative plural, the stress falls on the FIRST syllable. It's CAR-min-a, not car-MEE-na.

It makes my hair stand on end to hear someone pronounce it like they think the "-ina" is an Italian diminutive ending, as if they think "Carmina" means "little Carmen". It does NOT. (Imagine how jarring it would be to hear someone say "An athlete needs strength and sta-MEE-na" and you might get the effect.)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soprano screeches the Dulcisima, Nov. 21 2002
By 
Raul Saavedra (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This is supposedly an overall excellent rendering of Carmina Burana. I happen to have 3 different recordings of C.B. including this one, so I have had the chance to compare the 3 side by side. I like C.B. a lot because I used to sing as a baritone in a choir that participated in several performances of Carmina Burana. Dieskau is no doubt excellent being one of the top lieder baritones in the world. But at least in my humble opinion, he is not as good as Jonathan Summers in the EMI recording with Ricardo Muti conducting C.B. That doesn't mean Summers is a better baritone, but for Carmina Burana I think his voice does sound better. While still being a soft and beautiful voice when needed, he has much stronger and powerful fortes than Dieskau when needed too, way much more character, and those are very important aspects of the baritone part in this piece.
On top of the excellent performance by Summers, Arleen Auger (in that same recording with Ricardo Muti conducting) sings arguably one of the most beautiful and effortless "Dulcisimas" ever sung. In comparison, the soprano in this Jochum recording screeches a horrible Dulcisima. Also, Ms. Auger's long note in "Amor volat undique" when singing "Cordis in custodiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." is arguably one of the longest and most beautifully steadily and effortlessly uninterrupted notes ever sung. The soprano in Jochum's recording stops in the middle to breathe, as pretty much all other sopranos in the world do (actually I haven't yet heard any other recorded or live performance of any other soprano singing that note all the way without stopping in the middle the way Auger's does). Ms. Auger makes the complete soprano role in Carmina Burana seem to be the easiest and most natural thing to sing in the world, when it's an extremeley hard challenge for any soprano. You have to listen to these two recordings, Jochum and Muti, one after the other to hear the difference between not just a comfortable, but a perfect soprano voice for the role, and one that is clearly struggling to produce the highest note in the Dulcisima, making it sound way less than pretty.
The volume levels in the Ricardo Muti recording is the only significant drawback. The orchestra in several ocassions sounds way too loud. The singers do perform excellent performances as I've already mentioned, and I think the choirs as well, but their volume levels got recorded quite low with respect to the orchestra, not appropriately balanced in that respect. The recording engineers messed up this pretty bad, you need to have your remote at hand when listening to the EMI-Muti record to keep the playback volume under control to either not hurt your ears when the orchestra goes loud, and to really enjoy the solos when their turns come up.
I personally prefer the sound of the tenor in the Jochum recording than in the Muti one, but that is the least important solo in Carmina Burana, lasting only a couple of minutes, and it's just a humorous role (voice of a duck getting roasted). Overall sound balance Jochum's recording beats Muti's, but solo performances in my opinion clearly go the other way around.
I think if you really love and enjoy C.B., it is a good idea to consider getting at least 3 recordings: this one conducted by Jochum, the one by Muti, and there is another good one conducting Andre Previn. I've read that one is also highly praised, but I haven't had a chance to listen to it (planning to get it very soon to add it to my Carmina Buranas).
In any case, make sure you stay dead far away from the C.B. conducted by Eugene Ormandy. It's very dissapointing in most musical aspects, at least compared to the Jochum and Muti options (putting aside volume issues in the case of Muti). I have a SACD player so I made the mistake to buy the E.Ormandy C.B. in SACD format, it was a complete waste of money. Unfortunately it was in Best Buy, no return policy once the disk package had been opened.
Conclusion, this one by Jochum is a good way to go, but not the only one, and not the best one for certain aspects of Carmina Burana, in particular the soprano. I'd suggest don't stick to this one alone. You would be missing to much sound beauty if you don't listen to (at least) Arleen Auger and Jonathan Summers at the appropriate volume level in the EMI recording, Ricardo Muti conducting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE DRAMATIC CARMINA BURANA, April 28 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic recording of carmina burana some parts are so dramatic I sang carmina burana with my school choir (Trevelyan School) it was a wonderful experience so I could not resist buying it on cd.
AN EXCELENT ACHIEVMENT
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE DRAMATIC CARMINA BURANA, April 28 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This album is fantastic it is so dramatic and at times very loud although some of it is soft it is also good for all ages even children.I sang in Carmina Burana with my school choir (Trevelyan School) in March 2004 and seeing it live and singing in it was a great experience so I could not resist buying it.
AN EXCELENT ACHIEVMENT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really Professional Job, April 27 2004
By 
j oppenheimer (Hyde Park, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
It may sound chauvinistic to say so, but in this case, I think a work by a German composer (using old German for part of its text) is best interpreted by German performers. Eugen Jochum is a superb interpreter, keeping this somewhat chaotic work from sounding sloppy or disjointed.
There are some problems with volume levels -- they vary WIDELY.
The chorus and orchestra is that of the Deutsche Oper. They are very fine. They are quite used to singing with expression, and it shows.
Soloists are all good. I think I've heard better renditions of the dying swan, but this is clearly a matter of taste.
The baritone solo part is extremely demanding to be done at all well. The baritone is Fischer-Dieskau, and there is none better. He does just incredibly well, showing devastingly fine technique.
You'll find newer jobs, but none significantly better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The finest, Sept. 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This has to be one of the finest works to ever listen to. A must have for any CD library collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars About that Dulcissime..., June 4 2003
By 
PJ Henry (New Haven, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
If one sticks to rigid traditions about what a soprano should or should not sound like at various vocal ranges, then yes, the Dulcissime sounds very different from what it is "supposed to." However, I think that the soprano is clearly making a choice about how to sing this brief segment. Of course she could sing it "correctly" if she wanted to, but I think the soprano is taking a big risk by singing outside the box. If you are willing to remove yourself from what convention tells you is beautiful, I think you will find the Dulcissime an extremely powerful, sweeping, breathtaking experience. Music history is replete with people stepping outside of convention to meet with serious public censure. Let's not forget the intial public reaction to Stravnski's Rite of Spring. I think the soprano is a ground breaker, and posterity might just show again that perhaps we're all being a bit too stuffy and constricted in our judgments.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unreal, Jan. 23 2003
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
First, I would like to say that I don't know anything regarding classical or opera terms, and that I'm writing this review as your average Joe who loves music. Ok, with that said, I highly recommend this CD. I first saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra perform O Fortuna live, and since that moment I became obsessed with finding the perfect recording. I've read a lot of reviews from both musicians and collectors, and this was ranked very high (with few exception like you'llfind with Amazon[.com] reviews). Furthermore, Carl Orff himself has approved this album. What more do you need. It's performed as he intended. I would also like to add that I was never a big fan of Opera style music, but his style is so unique that you can't help but love it. More so, the lyrics are actual poems from real people who lived hundreds of years before Carl applied the music. There is true history and meaning in the words (if you can understand Latin). Please, do yourself a favor and buy this album. It's worth it, especially for the price listed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Soprano screeches the Dulcisima, Nov. 21 2002
By 
Raul Saavedra (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carmina Burana (Audio CD)
This is supposedly an overall excellent rendering of Carmina Burana. I happen to have 3 different recordings of C.B. including this one, so I have had the chance to compare the 3 side by side. I like C.B. a lot because I used to sing as a baritone in a choir that participated in several performances of Carmina Burana. Dieskau is no doubt excellent being one of the top lieder baritones in the world. But at least in my humble opinion, he is not as good as Jonathan Summers in the EMI recording with Ricardo Muti conducting C.B. That doesn't mean Summers is a better baritone, but for Carmina Burana I think his voice does sound better. While still being a soft and beautiful voice when needed, he has much stronger and powerful fortes than Dieskau when needed too, way much more character, and those are very important aspects of the baritone part in this piece.
On top of the excellent performance by Summers, Arleen Auger (in that same recording with Ricardo Muti conducting) sings arguably one of the most beautiful and effortless "Dulcisimas" ever sung. In comparison, the soprano in this Jochum recording screeches a horrible Dulcisima. Also, Ms. Auger's long note in "Amor volat undique" when singing "Cordis in custodiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." is arguably one of the longest and most beautifully steadily and effortlessly uninterrupted notes ever sung. The soprano in Jochum's recording stops in the middle to breathe, as pretty much all other sopranos in the world do (actually I haven't yet heard any other recorded or live performance of any other soprano singing that note all the way without stopping in the middle the way Auger's does). Ms. Auger makes the complete soprano role in Carmina Burana seem to be the easiest and most natural thing to sing in the world, when it's an extremeley hard challenge for any soprano. You have to listen to these two recordings, Jochum and Muti, one after the other to hear the difference between not just a comfortable, but a perfect soprano voice for the role, and one that is clearly struggling to produce the highest note in the Dulcisima, making it sound way less than pretty.
The volume levels in the Ricardo Muti recording is the only significant drawback. The orchestra in several ocassions sounds way too loud. The singers do perform excellent performances as I've already mentioned, and I think the choirs as well, but their volume levels got recorded quite low with respect to the orchestra, not appropriately balanced in that respect. The recording engineers messed up this pretty bad, you need to have your remote at hand when listening to the EMI-Muti record to keep the playback volume under control to either not hurt your ears when the orchestra goes loud, and to really enjoy the solos when their turns come up.
I personally prefer the sound of the tenor in the Jochum recording than in the Muti one, but that is the least important solo in Carmina Burana, lasting only a couple of minutes, and it's just a humorous role (voice of a duck getting roasted). Overall sound balance Jochum's recording beats Muti's, but solo performances in my opinion clearly go the other way around.
I think if you really love and enjoy C.B., it is a good idea to consider getting at least 3 recordings: this one conducted by Jochum, the one by Muti, and there is another good one conducting Andre Previn. I've read that one is also highly praised, but I haven't had a chance to listen to it (planning to get it very soon to add it to my Carmina Buranas).
In any case, make sure you stay dead far away from the C.B. conducted by Eugene Ormandy. It's very dissapointing in most musical aspects, at least compared to the Jochum and Muti options (putting aside volume issues in the case of Muti). I have a SACD player so I made the mistake to buy the E.Ormandy C.B. in SACD format, it was a complete waste of money. Unfortunately it was in Best Buy, no return policy once the disk package had been opened.
Conclusion, this one by Jochum is a good way to go, but not the only one, and not the best one for certain aspects of Carmina Burana, in particular the soprano. I'd suggest don't stick to this one alone. You would be missing to much sound beauty if you don't listen to (at least) Arleen Auger and Jonathan Summers at the appropriate volume level in the EMI recording, Ricardo Muti conducting.
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Carmina Burana by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Audio CD - 1995)
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