Orff: Carmina Burana
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|1. Carmina burana|
|2. O Fortuna|
|3. Fortune plango vulnera|
|4. Veris leta facies|
|5. Omnia sol remperat|
|6. Ecce gratum|
|8. Floret silva|
|9. "Chramer, gip die Varwe mir"|
|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
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.
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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.
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.
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.