Author Topic: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff  (Read 37848 times)

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Online André

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #100 on: August 22, 2017, 10:28:46 AM »
This week I listened to a couple CB discs, which gave rise to an interesting finding.




And



I was hoping the young Järvi would be one to find freshness and profane exhilaration to the ol' chestnut. That was not to be. Although the sound is suitably big and spacious, the myriad rythmic inflexions go for practically nothing, and the choir never seems to have fun singing the text.

Last year I had listened to the Jochum version for the first time, but I was not bowled over, finding the sound too bright and "in your face", with insufficient depth. This time around I was much less bothered by the sound - let's call it "very immediate" instead - and could relish the astounding musical feats from the chorus (prepared by the legendary Walter Hagen-Groll) and Eugen Jochum's laser beam eye for detail. I sometimes felt his conducting slightly rigid and unbending, but whenever doubts started to creep in, something miraculous happened - not the least being the three  soloist's extraordinary contributions. Stolze's sonorous head voice, DFD's "chummy" yet incredibly beautiful singing, Janowitz's hair-raising Dulcissime.

I'll put on Jochum's earlier DG recording from 16 years earlier (mono, 1952) for comparison. It clocks in some 30 seconds faster. If memory serves, only one of the soloists had met with my approval. But things change.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:31:28 AM by André »

Online Jo498

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #101 on: August 22, 2017, 11:00:23 AM »
I don't know too many recordings (stereo Jochum, one of Kegel's and Fruhbeck de Burgos) because I can take the piece only once in a long while but overall Jochum has hold up very well.

As you point out, the soloists are amazingly good there. Janowitz is great and it is hard to believe that someone could beat Stolze as the roasted swan (although I can imagine that some find it to exaggerated) or Fi-Di  who is comically the pompous in "ego sum abbas cucaniensis" and really passionate later on (circa mea pectora multa sunt suspiria etc.). The sound is not great but Jochum has a feeling for the fun and swagger of the piece.
(A recording that was hailed for its sound I found a complete failure: Blomstedt on Decca: Sterile, boring, uninvolved and not at all raucous.)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online André

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #102 on: August 22, 2017, 12:32:05 PM »
I didn't hear the Blomstedt. I have the Kegel and Frühbeck, as well as MTT, Ormandy, Ozawa (2 versions), Thielemann, Dutoit, Hill, Dorati and the first Jochum recording. I got rid of a couple recently. Not all are worth hearing more than once. Dutoit, MTT and Ozawa in Berlin are really excellent.

When it comes to savouring the text, I think I'll go back to Jochum and his Berlin Opera forces and glorious soloists. Jochum was a Bavarian through and through. I suspect he had an innate understanding of these old bavarian poems and drinking songs.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #103 on: August 24, 2017, 06:29:15 AM »
I don't know too many recordings (stereo Jochum, one of Kegel's and Fruhbeck de Burgos) because I can take the piece only once in a long while but overall Jochum has hold up very well.

As you point out, the soloists are amazingly good there. Janowitz is great and it is hard to believe that someone could beat Stolze as the roasted swan (although I can imagine that some find it to exaggerated) or Fi-Di  who is comically the pompous in "ego sum abbas cucaniensis" and really passionate later on (circa mea pectora multa sunt suspiria etc.). The sound is not great but Jochum has a feeling for the fun and swagger of the piece.
(A recording that was hailed for its sound I found a complete failure: Blomstedt on Decca: Sterile, boring, uninvolved and not at all raucous.)
It's because you want it to be raucous. The Blomstedt is arguably, in my view, the best one out there. The soloists are incredible - sensual, innocent, and soaring where needed (and always in good control) . They bring out the beauty and create more of a story of episodes (I don't skip around anymore). The clarity is brilliant. It's one of my favorite features.  I can listen to this recording often (my ears don't get tired) - I notice details I don't hear in other versions. It stops to smell the roses.
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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #104 on: August 24, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »
There is, too, this... (I have no idea in what format, ?DVD? if at all, this might be available.)
Lucia Popp(soprano)
John van Kesteren (tenor)
Hermann Prey (baritone)
Bavarian Radio Chorus Tolz Children's Choir
Munich Radio Orchestra
conducted by Kurt Eichhorn
Film Directed by Jean Pierre Ponnelle
("Kurt Eichhorn-Carmina Burana/Veris leta facies", sound recording administered by: SME)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo</a>

I don't know how long it was after my initial exposure to this in middle school before it dawned on me that there is no harmony in the choral writing, e.g. the chorus sings unison throughout.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 11:23:00 PM by Monsieur Croche »
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Online Jo498

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #105 on: August 24, 2017, 10:15:08 PM »
I got rid of the Blomstedt ages ago, so I cannot be more precise. But it was hailed in some circles back then and I was largely disappointed by it overall after of such praise. (I can hardly imagine that I really disliked Lynne Dawson but I vaguely recall being not at all impressed with the male solo singers, but as I said, I do not have the recording anymore.)

If you look at the piece and the texts, raucousness is not some odd personal preference of mine. This is not Debussy or Koechlin or some other refined fin-de-siécle stuff. It is rather simple neo/pseudo-primitivism with a Bavarian slant.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #106 on: August 25, 2017, 04:19:27 AM »
His other canatas, operas and many of his odds and ends (including Schulwerk pieces) include many surprises  8)

Would you believe me if I told you this was my ringtone?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/RGJb2Q14z4g" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/RGJb2Q14z4g</a>


And yes, Orff deserves his own page NOT only dedicated to Carmina Burana.

millionrainbows

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #107 on: September 14, 2017, 11:45:17 AM »
I like the Blomstedt as well, but I have heard him castigated in reviews. The sound is good, recorded in that famous hall.

Offline LKB

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #108 on: October 28, 2017, 11:57:38 PM »
Carmina and l go back a long way. I've sung the bass part in the chorus as well as solo baritone. And back when dinosaurs walked the earth, l played timpani in an arrangement of the entire work for concert band ( yes, they actually did arrange CB for concert band, which may well prove that God really is dead ).

Let me just say for the record that playing the timpani for Carmina Burana was ( expletive ) awesome, probably the only personal performing experience l would describe as " primal ".

Carmina Burana is an emphatically social work, creating an emotional frisson which l believe to be unique. A successful performance will imbue an audience with tenderness, lust, joy, laughter, and an insight into the warrior's love for chaos.

As far as recordings are concerned, it's Jochum on DG for me. I've owned a few others, but DF-D, Stolze and Janowitz remain unsurpassed imho, and both chorus and orchestra are more than adequate.

O Fortuna,

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Offline knight66

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #109 on: November 27, 2017, 02:49:24 AM »
I cannot think of another piece of music that I have liked less because of my imvolvements performing it. When I was 18 I though it was fantastic and drove my parents nuts by repeatedly playing the opening chorus at high volume.

However, I find it hard to take now. I feel that most of the strophic segments are one verse too long and having been made to yell my way through it by all three conductors, one of which was John Pritchard of all people, I tend to avoid it if I can.

Over the years I had about five versions, but junked them all except my first, Jochum. The soloists are great and the piece goes as well as I have heard it.

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #110 on: November 27, 2017, 09:24:30 AM »
There is, too, this... (I have no idea in what format, ?DVD? if at all, this might be available.)
Lucia Popp(soprano)
John van Kesteren (tenor)
Hermann Prey (baritone)
Bavarian Radio Chorus Tolz Children's Choir
Munich Radio Orchestra
conducted by Kurt Eichhorn
Film Directed by Jean Pierre Ponnelle
("Kurt Eichhorn-Carmina Burana/Veris leta facies", sound recording administered by: SME)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo</a>

I don't know how long it was after my initial exposure to this in middle school before it dawned on me that there is no harmony in the choral writing, e.g. the chorus sings unison throughout.

Bought the DVD about a dozen years ago. Great fun, and: a great recording, too!

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #111 on: December 07, 2017, 09:09:16 AM »
There is, too, this... (I have no idea in what format, ?DVD? if at all, this might be available.)
Lucia Popp(soprano)
John van Kesteren (tenor)
Hermann Prey (baritone)
Bavarian Radio Chorus Tolz Children's Choir
Munich Radio Orchestra
conducted by Kurt Eichhorn
Film Directed by Jean Pierre Ponnelle
("Kurt Eichhorn-Carmina Burana/Veris leta facies", sound recording administered by: SME)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo</a>

I don't know how long it was after my initial exposure to this in middle school before it dawned on me that there is no harmony in the choral writing, e.g. the chorus sings unison throughout.

Nice visuals, relieves some of the boredom of the music.
While much of the chorus sing in unison or octaves, there are sections where they have different parts.
I don't have the score and never sang in it, but I do hear chords.
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Offline Xenophanes

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #112 on: March 03, 2018, 02:24:22 PM »
Nice visuals, relieves some of the boredom of the music.
While much of the chorus sing in unison or octaves, there are sections where they have different parts.
I don't have the score and never sang in it, but I do hear chords.


Actually, it's sort of fun to sing, but I never found it very interesting to listen to. But a lot of people seem to like it, and we had all sorts of people who don't generally sing show up to sing in it. 

Online André

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #113 on: August 13, 2021, 03:57:26 PM »
Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:


Quote


Contrary to many performances Ozawa stresses the text’s poetic sonorities rather than the score’s sweeping rythms and flamboyant colours. To achieve maximum textual clarity tempi are often on the moderate side of things. Fortunately they are well judged and the pay off is that my attention was held throughout, text in hand, savouring the uncanny mix of verbal and rythmic felicities. Furthermore the 1970 recording perfectly captures the chorus, making fine use of the stereophonic separation - typically wider than today’s more blended soundstages. The soloists are good (tenor) to excellent (baritone and soprano). Sherrill Milnes’ use of a crooning head voice in Dies, nox et omnia is outstanding.

Not a first choice, but one that should be in every Carmina Burana lover’s collection - I know, they are very few. It’s in good taste to trash the work and its composer… ::)


Quote


I’m not saving Ormandy. Quite good in most places, but too many quirks or imperfectly realized sections tend to weigh negatively on the final impression. Amateurish pronunciation of the latin text, an inadequate baritone (swaps the falsetto lines with the tenor in Dies, nox et omnia), no children’s chorus (all women)… Some good insights from the podium, but overall too many missed opportunities. Good sound for its time (1960).



This one is for keeps ! Another Hungarian conductor, but with a fine sense of daring and an iron grip on the proceedings. This was recorded originally with the London Phase 4 process, so there are some ‘in your face’ instrumental interventions - a bass tuba here, castanets there, but overall there is good weight and depth to the soundstage and it never sounds garish. Wide stereo separation helps, too.

Among the soloists belgian tenor Louis Devos (better known as an Aron in Schönberg’s opera and other modern pieces) really stands out. His Song of the Roasted Swan  ;) is a blast. Baritone John Shirley-Quirk has a great voice but his falsetto tones are just a tad too polished (too English?) in Dies, lux et omnia. Sherrill Milnes shows how it should be done in the Ozawa BSO version - the absolute best I’ve heard. Norma Burrowes nails the high Ds in Dulcissime, but she doesn’t sound all that excited at losing her virginity -  listen to Gruberova here ! The Brighton Festival Chorus is splendid and superbly clear. Dorati sometimes sounds more efficient than inspired but overall his is one of the best versions. You can tell it’s a good one when the work appears so short to the listener !

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #114 on: August 14, 2021, 05:12:18 AM »
It's not a work I listen to that often, and I still enjoy the recording by which I first got to know the piece, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. I'll admit that quite possibly this has more to do with the stunning singing of Lucia Popp than anything else. What's your opinion of it, André?



Incidentally, did you notice that in the cover photo of the Dorati version above, they have misspelled the name of Norma Burrowes (Borrowes).?
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Online André

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #115 on: August 14, 2021, 06:09:57 AM »
It's not a work I listen to that often, and I still enjoy the recording by which I first got to know the piece, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. I'll admit that quite possibly this has more to do with the stunning singing of Lucia Popp than anything else. What's your opinion of it, André?



Incidentally, did you notice that in the cover photo of the Dorati version above, they have misspelled the name of Norma Burrowes (Borrowes).?

Ha ! No I haven’t noticed that. I have the exact same cover, but no misspelling !!

I have the Frühbeck version, it’s in line for a listening, along with the Kegel and MTT versions. I’ll start with it  :). I do recall it’s an excellent one. The soloists are very important in that work despite what some may think. CB is essentially a parody, with some decidedly campy moments. A good talent for vocal acting is essential to convey that. On top of an outstanding voice, of course. It must still sound beautiful.

Offline JBS

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #116 on: August 14, 2021, 10:03:50 AM »
It's not a work I listen to that often, and I still enjoy the recording by which I first got to know the piece, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. I'll admit that quite possibly this has more to do with the stunning singing of Lucia Popp than anything else. What's your opinion of it, André?



Incidentally, did you notice that in the cover photo of the Dorati version above, they have misspelled the name of Norma Burrowes (Borrowes).?

That's a rather macabre choice of art they made as the cover illustration
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal_des_Ardents

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #117 on: August 14, 2021, 10:17:33 AM »
That's a rather macabre choice of art they made as the cover illustration
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal_des_Ardents
Yep, a rather weird event in the medieval French court. I read about it after visiting a fantastic bookstore in Lyon that took its name from it.





One of those truly great bookstores you can still find scattered around France (like Ombres Blanches in Toulouse —known to André IIRC—, Kléber in Strasbourg, Gallimard in Paris, etc.).
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Offline JBS

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #118 on: August 14, 2021, 10:23:15 AM »
I like the arch of books around the doorway!

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Online André

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Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
« Reply #119 on: August 14, 2021, 02:25:41 PM »
Yep, a rather weird event in the medieval French court. I read about it after visiting a fantastic bookstore in Lyon that took its name from it.





One of those truly great bookstores you can still find scattered around France (like Ombres Blanches in Toulouse —known to André IIRC—, Kléber in Strasbourg, Gallimard in Paris, etc.).

Yep. A charming and intriguing place occupying space in various buildings through passages and stairways, amoeba-like.