GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: techniquest on June 23, 2007, 01:00:24 AM

Title: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: techniquest on June 23, 2007, 01:00:24 AM
OK, one of the most done-to-death opening sections, but the rest of it is really rather fascinating. With such large forces though, and so many recordings, it's difficult to know which one to go for. I need to hear all the percussion (including the tam-tam), I need audible tubas, expressive soloists and a choir that sounds big and together.
I have the old Ozawa recording on RCA on vinyl which is wonderful, and the Hickox / LSO recording on CD (Regis) which I'm not struck with so I want to replace the CD.
Has anyone heard the new Marin Alsop recording on Naxos?
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:05:08 AM
I have Jochum on DG which I like...to the extent I like the piece at all. I did have the Previn on LP a long time ago and thought it was excellent.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: PSmith08 on June 23, 2007, 01:08:10 AM
I've always stuck with the "composer-authorized" (though, what that means I do not know) Eugen Jochum recording on DGG (1968). In fact, despite being nearly forty years old, I think the Jochum version remains a first choice in some circles. Some folks seem pretty taken with Thielemann's version, but I've never tried it out, never having been much of a fan of his. It might, with its good (I can only assume, being relatively recent DGG, though that's not always a guarantee) sound and solid forces, be the ticket.

I have Jochum on DG which I like...to the extent I like the piece at all. I did have the Previn on LP a long time ago and thought it was excellent.

Mike

Always beating me to the punch.  :D
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:09:55 AM

Always beating me to the punch.  :D

I assure you...no...often I don't post because you said it before me.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: PSmith08 on June 23, 2007, 01:12:04 AM
I assure you...no...often I don't post because you said it before me.

Mike

Thanks for that, but I've already resigned myself to knowing that Ben Folds was right, "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You."  :'(  ;D

Ahem...well, how 'bout that Orff?  ;)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: M forever on June 23, 2007, 01:13:15 AM
OK, one of the most done-to-death opening sections, but the rest of it is really rather fascinating. With such large forces though, and so many recordings, it's difficult to know which one to go for. I need to hear all the percussion (including the tam-tam), I need audible tubas, expressive soloists and a choir that sounds big and together.
I have the old Ozawa recording on RCA on vinyl which is wonderful, and the Hickox / LSO recording on CD (Regis) which I'm not struck with so I want to replace the CD.
Has anyone heard the new Marin Alsop recording on Naxos?

Naaah, forget all that stuff, a lot of people don't get the subtle humor and all the many fine details in the score, and many don't get the complex phrasing right either. Not even close. It's all just lalala and blareboombang where Orff wrote extremely close and sensitively to the text.

What you need to listen to is Jochum's recording on DG with Janowitz, Fischer-D and the Deutsche Oper forces, recorded in the late 60s, but still sounding rather fresh. This is about as idiomatic and authentic as it gets. Few other performances even approach that.
The only one I can think of that may even be better in some aspects, is, to my total surprise, Wand's live NDR recording (on Profil - Edition Hänssler). Because Wand always came across in that rather strict, schoolmasterly way, I had a really hard time picturing him conducting Carmina Burana, but I was proven totally wrong by that stupendous, lively, very witty, differentiated and detailed performance, recorded live in the 80s but in very good, immediate sound.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:17:16 AM
I know it is fashionable to be sniffy about the piece, but I believe there is good reason for that. I loved it when I was a kid, but learning the choral part and yelling through a number of performances has put me right off it. My feeling is that it would be more engaging if the strophic movements were all cut down by at least one verse. There is fun to be had with it, and some beautiful things in it. But it has been pretty much ruined for me.

Mike

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: M forever on June 23, 2007, 01:25:52 AM
but learning the choral part and yelling through a number of performances has put me right off it

See, that's exactly what I meant when I said "don't get the subtle humor and all the many fine details in the score, and many don't get the complex phrasing right either. Not even close. It's all just lalala and blareboombang where Orff wrote extremely close and sensitively to the text". Thanks for illustrating my point so vividly.

Not Carl's fault, though.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:30:23 AM
Well, I will leave it for you to somehow contact Previn, Pritchard and several lesser conductors and you can explain it to them; as they to a man encouraged the maximum sound out of the orchestra and we had to shout some sections to be heard. Pritchard in particular, normally a very musical musician, drove it headlong at max speed in the Tavern scene.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: PSmith08 on June 23, 2007, 01:33:16 AM
To be fair, De temporum fine comoedia is - to me - more compelling and interesting than Carmina Burana. Orff really showed that he was more than a one-trick pony with De temporum, and - between the two - I return to the later work more often. There is a benefit, also, to De temporum not having had its opening and concluding movement played to death. In fact, were "O Fortuna" played merely to death, it would be a shade better a situation than the current one.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: david johnson on June 23, 2007, 01:34:11 AM
R. Frühbeck de Burgos / Philharmonia is the best.

dj
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: M forever on June 23, 2007, 01:40:53 AM
Well, I will leave it for you to somehow contact Previn, Pritchard and several lesser conductors and you can explain it to them; as they to a man encouraged the maximum sound out of the orchestra and we had to shout some sections to be heard. Pritchard in particular, normally a very musical musician, drove it headlong at max speed in the Tavern scene.

Mike

I have Previn's WP recording but can't remember right now how it is. I think it is pretty good, but then he also has the Arnold Schoenberg Chor, so that direct comparison would be unfair.

"In taberna" is a good example. Some sections are meant to be noisy and "headlong", after all, it's "in taberna" - that means "in the pub", but not the kind of pub you know, a medieval pub which was probably much noisier and which probably also smelled much worse. Although I have been to some pubs in England which smelled pretty bad, too. But that's a different story.

But in any case, it's a good example because that short number contains a ton of tempo and sudden gear changes, a lot of it is actually meant to be very p and hushed, a lot of fine detail which, indeed, many interpreters miss and dash and yell through it. Yelling and dashing is OK towards the end, though. Again, listen to Jochum or Wand to see how it goes. And again, thanks for illustrating my point so vividly.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 23, 2007, 01:45:12 AM
R. Frühbeck de Burgos / Philharmonia is the best.

dj

If only for Lucia Popp's divine singing!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:47:28 AM
The Previn recording was excellent and detailed, it can be balanced carefully in the studio. However, the problems live seemed to me to be a combo of the conductor being in an unfamiliar hall and not taking much trouble to establish the acustics and the seeming need to highlight the orchestra and tell the singers to produce all possible sound. One trumpet can blot out a large chorus.

No matter how fast parts of it should go, there is no point if the words cannot be articulated. We were no slouches, only working with the big names, some of whom stipulated in their contracts that when coming to perform, at least one concert was to include the chorus.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 01:49:45 AM
I saw a telecast of Ozawa with Kathleen Battle and that was good, especially when it came to her melismatic phrases, she and Ozawa conspired to stretch them them to infinity, she had the technique to cope with it and it made for a spinetingling moment, authentic or not. I don't know if it is available on DVD.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: M forever on June 23, 2007, 02:20:34 AM
I once sat through a performance with Ozawa conducting the BP and a Japanese choir, and it was boring as hell. It was pretty obvious neither Seiji nor the choir had much of a clue what the texts are actually about...
I am pretty sure it didn't have Battle, though. That would have been nice. But it had Gruberova and Hampson, and they were very good, too, especially Hampson. But still, the whole performance was not very...interesting. At least it was really loud, courtesy of the BP, but that brings us back to my earlier point, it's not at all only about the blareboombang. Philips recorded that performance, but I never listened to the CD, for obvious reasons.

No matter how fast parts of it should go, there is no point if the words cannot be articulated.

Completely agree. That's why you should listen to the Jochum recording. The clarity of articulation of the choir is excellent. And, like I said, the musical detail shaping and phrasing is outstanding, too - maybe you will "rediscover" the piece. I know it can get too much, I played it so often in orchestras, I literally knew the bass part from memory. It's actually a lot of fun to play, but it can get too much at some point. But after several years, I also "rediscovered" the piece, and still enjoy listening to it. But not all the time.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2007, 02:41:45 AM
I have the Jochum and wish I had been fortunate enough to have him take me through it. As to Ozawa, I have to be honest and say that Battle is absolutely the only element I can recall about it, it is quite possible the rest of the performance was under characterised.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Marc on June 23, 2007, 08:54:10 AM
If only for Lucia Popp's divine singing!

Say no more; though I do not have that one.
But I do have the Ponnelle DVD, with the Munich 'Rundfunk Team', Lucia Popp, John van Kesteren and Hermann Prey, conducted by Kurt Eichhorn.
Watching that film, it's back to the Middle Ages .... the Seventies again! ;D
It's fun, and of course Lucia Popp is in great form! Well, Prey and Van Kesteren aren't bad either, I admit. ;)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 23, 2007, 09:35:35 AM
Say no more; though I do not have that one.
But I do have the Ponnelle DVD, with the Munich 'Rundfunk Team', Lucia Popp, John van Kesteren and Hermann Prey, conducted by Kurt Eichhorn.
Watching that film, it's back to the Middle Ages .... the Seventies again! ;D
It's fun, and of course Lucia Popp is in great form! Well, Prey and Van Kesteren aren't bad either, I admit. ;)

This is a clip from it, isn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVNYXOBWJA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVNYXOBWJA)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Brewski on June 23, 2007, 09:59:50 AM
I've heard the Jochum recording and it's excellent, but my two favorites are with Muti and the Philharmonia, and the more recent one with Blomstedt and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.  The latter, especially, has great energy and is superbly recorded. 

Yes, the work has suffered from overexposure (e.g., use in television commercials) but all one has to do is hear it live to be seduced once again.  Like Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, there is much pleasure in the score beyond the opening few pages. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Holden on June 23, 2007, 10:38:38 AM
The earlier Previn (for EMI) is excellent. He gets the tempos spot on and the work of choirmaster Arthur Oldham with his massed choral groups from the LSO (and the boys from ST Clement Dane School) is also commendable. As soloists Thomas Allen stands out as does the crystal clear tones of the underrated Sheila Armstrong. Previn also did a later version which is nowhere near as good.

The other choice I'd suggest is Ormandy/Philadelphia on Sony for many of the reasons listed above.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Marc on June 23, 2007, 01:36:22 PM
This is a clip from it, isn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVNYXOBWJA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVNYXOBWJA)

Yup.

Beautiful comment on that page from a YouTube user: Lucia, Lucia you live forever in my heart.

I have a very old-fashioned telephone dial Internet-connection though (that's because I am very old-fashioned), so downloading the clip wasn't really worth a try. No prob of course, I have the DVD.

Other recordings of the Carmina Burana I both have and like:
Jochum, Deutsche Oper Berlin (has been mentioned before)
Kegel, RSO Leipzig [LP!] (one of the first classical LP's I bought, still a favourite)
Chailly, RSO Berlin (fresh!)

But I'm not really a Carmina collector. Sometimes I think: I should get the Kegel on CD, but then I forget about it, and buy another recording of Bach's Johannes-Passion. ;D
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Greta on June 24, 2007, 05:44:50 AM
Quote
The Previn recording was excellent and detailed, it can be balanced carefully in the studio. However, the problems live seemed to me to be a combo of the conductor being in an unfamiliar hall and not taking much trouble to establish the acustics and the seeming need to highlight the orchestra and tell the singers to produce all possible sound. One trumpet can blot out a large chorus.

The Previn I have is live, on DG from 1994, the WP with the Arnold Schoenberg Chor. I didn't realize he had recorded this twice. Yes, as M said it is pretty good, an exciting performance, but I had a few quibbles I remember, sometimes the sound is a bit harsh and the inner parts aren't always clear.

This disc has a funny story attached, I bought it because we were playing a transcription in band, I was 14, and it was the first DG disc I ever bought. I knew "The Yellow Label" was quite prestigious in classical and it was the most expensive one, so I figured it must be the "best"!  ;D

I'm seeing this live next year and want to get another, one with more clarity. I will definitely look into the Jochum.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Daverz on June 24, 2007, 06:20:53 AM
Second vote for de Burgos, but make sure you get the latest version on the EMI budget label, earlier versions had sibilant distortion.

And welcome back, Michael!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: MDL on June 26, 2007, 04:09:54 AM
I have Jochum on DG which I like...to the extent I like the piece at all. I did have the Previn on LP a long time ago and thought it was excellent.

Mike

All but one of the tam-tam strokes are inaudible on Previn/EMI, from what I can remember.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Montpellier on June 26, 2007, 04:17:56 AM
The earlier Previn (for EMI) is excellent. He gets the tempos spot on and the work of choirmaster Arthur Oldham with his massed choral groups from the LSO (and the boys from ST Clement Dane School) is also commendable. As soloists Thomas Allen stands out as does the crystal clear tones of the underrated Sheila Armstrong. Previn also did a later version which is nowhere near as good.

The other choice I'd suggest is Ormandy/Philadelphia on Sony for many of the reasons listed above.
I definitely go along with the Ormandy - surprisingly clear recording for its age.  It truly catches the sensual spirit of this work especially from Cour d'Amours to the end but it's all good - the most engaging recording I've heard.  

The Previn seemed reasonable but the sound engineers messed up the dynamics here and there...could be the system I heard it on but the choir seemed to move back and forth according to how the recordists were trying to contain the dynamic variation.  He'd lost a bit of his former energy by the time in made this recording - just my view - but one of the better ones all the same.     
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Holden on June 26, 2007, 12:16:06 PM
The Previn I have is live, on DG from 1994, the WP with the Arnold Schoenberg Chor. I didn't realize he had recorded this twice. Yes, as M said it is pretty good, an exciting performance, but I had a few quibbles I remember, sometimes the sound is a bit harsh and the inner parts aren't always clear.

This disc has a funny story attached, I bought it because we were playing a transcription in band, I was 14, and it was the first DG disc I ever bought. I knew "The Yellow Label" was quite prestigious in classical and it was the most expensive one, so I figured it must be the "best"!  ;D

I'm seeing this live next year and want to get another, one with more clarity. I will definitely look into the Jochum.

Check out the Previn EMI, It is much better than your DG recording.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: czgirb on December 22, 2010, 09:28:37 PM
OK, one of the most done-to-death opening sections, but the rest of it is really rather fascinating. With such large forces though, and so many recordings, it's difficult to know which one to go for. I need to hear all the percussion (including the tam-tam), I need audible tubas, expressive soloists and a choir that sounds big and together.
I have the old Ozawa recording on RCA on vinyl which is wonderful, and the Hickox / LSO recording on CD (Regis) which I'm not struck with so I want to replace the CD.
Has anyone heard the new Marin Alsop recording on Naxos?

Since sound is a matter, I recommend that you should give yourself a try for:
* LP ... Previn (EMI).
* CD ... Shaw (Telarc).
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Brewski on October 04, 2012, 11:40:45 AM
Last night's performance by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of Orff's Carmina Burana (opening night at Carnegie Hall) is online, below. Muti was sensational, making the piece much more than just loud and blustery, and the soloists and choruses were excellent.

http://www.npr.org/event/music/161954474/carnegie-hall-live-chicago-symphony-orchestra-performs-carmina-burana

--Bruce
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: techniquest on October 10, 2012, 10:38:37 AM
Holy resurrection Batman!  ;D
Thanks for the link - I have given the Muti performance a listen but have to say I was struck from the start at the much slower pace than I'm used to (and I've listened to some of the recommendations cited on this thread over the last 5 years). It was kind of inside out with its' pacing - the 'Amor volat undique' being rather fast but beautifully delicate, as was the following song with the abnormally high part for the baritone. The kids had a nice 'urchin' sound about them in their brief sections, but the O Fortuna 'bookends' to the piece felt to me to be just a tad too sluggish.
I have bought the Alsop / Bournemouth recording on Naxos and find it to be a really nice, clear, well paced rendition; well worth the budget price! However, I have also since bought the Ozawa / Boston recording which I mentioned at the start, on CD 24/96 audiophile remastering. It just gives weight to the old adage 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it': this digitised version may be as clear as a bell, but they've ripped all the guts out of it. If you can find the un-remastered recording, I'd say give a it a try.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2012, 11:05:06 AM
Holy resurrection Batman!  ;D
Thanks for the link - I have given the Muti performance a listen but have to say I was struck from the start at the much slower pace than I'm used to (and I've listened to some of the recommendations cited on this thread over the last 5 years). It was kind of inside out with its' pacing - the 'Amor volat undique' being rather fast but beautifully delicate, as was the following song with the abnormally high part for the baritone. The kids had a nice 'urchin' sound about them in their brief sections, but the O Fortuna 'bookends' to the piece felt to me to be just a tad too sluggish.
I have bought the Alsop / Bournemouth recording on Naxos and find it to be a really nice, clear, well paced rendition; well worth the budget price! However, I have also since bought the Ozawa / Boston recording which I mentioned at the start, on CD 24/96 audiophile remastering. It just gives weight to the old adage 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it': this digitised version may be as clear as a bell, but they've ripped all the guts out of it. If you can find the un-remastered recording, I'd say give a it a try.

You are absolutely right about the slower tempi (though I liked them). As a whole I thought Muti's choices made greater weight, but then, that's what I feel about some of Chailly's Mahler, which is too slow for others.

I do like Alsop, so will have to hear that - and haven't heard the Ozawa. My two favorites (to date) are Muti's with the Philharmonia (despite as I recall, some slightly hazy sound) and the wonderful Arleen Augér, and Blomstedt/San Francisco (with sound super-clear) and a really sharp chorus.





--Bruce
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 10, 2012, 12:53:37 PM
After reading through this thread (? Don't know why, really) and then going out and finding the texts to the 24 songs and reading the background to the whole thing, I went ahead and picked this one up, as the generally accepted version:



I'm prepared to be gratified.  0:)

8)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2012, 12:55:54 PM
Gurn, I haven't heard that one in decades, but hey, it has Janowitz singing - how bad can it be?  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 10, 2012, 01:02:48 PM
Gurn, I haven't heard that one in decades, but hey, it has Janowitz singing - how bad can it be?  ;D

--Bruce

Indeed, and F-D also. FWIW, early on in this thread M rec'd it wholeheartedly and clearly used it as a benchmark in comparing versions. Whatever else has passed under the bridge, he never steered me wrong on a recording. And Jochum; how bad could it be?  :)

You guys can all laugh at me and shake your heads in disbelief, but this is my first recording of this piece. Of course, I've heard it, but never got a recording of it. So there. :)

8)
 
8)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2012, 01:58:14 PM
You are absolutely right about the slower tempi (though I liked them). As a whole I thought Muti's choices made greater weight, but then, that's what I feel about some of Chailly's Mahler, which is too slow for others.

I do like Alsop, so will have to hear that - and haven't heard the Ozawa. My two favorites (to date) are Muti's with the Philharmonia (despite as I recall, some slightly hazy sound) and the wonderful Arleen Augér, and Blomstedt/San Francisco (with sound super-clear) and a really sharp chorus.



--Bruce

A big yes for the Blomstedt, Bruce, some others I enjoy is from Dorati (not near my collection so can't remember the ensemble) Slatkin/St Louis (excellent soloists-McNair, Hagegard and Aler) and the chamber version for percussion/pianos/vocalist.


Edit: The Dorati is with Royal Philharmonic, and here's the Chamber Version disc I own...

(http://www.classicalarchives.com/images/coverart/9/2/9/9/7318590007341_300.jpg)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 04:35:59 PM
After reading through this thread (? Don't know why, really) and then going out and finding the texts to the 24 songs and reading the background to the whole thing, I went ahead and picked this one up, as the generally accepted version:



I'm prepared to be gratified.  0:)

8)

In my estimate, the best performance of Carmina Burana on the market. It doesn't get much better than this recording. I haven't heard this work in several years, but the last recording I bought was Tilson Thomas and I enjoyed the modern sound of that one and the performance was melodically and rhythmically in line with the way I believe the work should sound.



Since visiting this thread, I've been thinking about picking up Muti's recording. This seems to be right up his alley I would think.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 10, 2012, 04:45:31 PM
A big yes for the Blomstedt...
x2.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2012, 05:04:58 PM

Since visiting this thread, I've been thinking about picking up Muti's recording. This seems to be right up his alley I would think.

John, the Muti is quite intense, the Philharmonia orchestra is top notch. I'm sure you could snatch one fairly cheap.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 05:40:07 PM
John, the Muti is quite intense, the Philharmonia orchestra is top notch. I'm sure you could snatch one fairly cheap.

How is the audio quality, Greg? I've read several complaints about it from Amazon reviewers.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 10, 2012, 06:11:42 PM
In my estimate, the best performance of Carmina Burana on the market. It doesn't get much better than this recording.


Well, you seem to be in agreement with a hell of a lot of other people on that! Of course, me being me, the consensus that the words are delivered in a clear and understandable way, and that the proper emotion is attached to them is crucial to my decision-making process. Now I know what's it's all about and have read the verses so I know the what and why. This is a vital part of my enjoyment process, and I think this recording will fit in with that nicely. It's already in the post, so I'll know soon enough. :)

8)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 06:57:05 PM
Well, you seem to be in agreement with a hell of a lot of other people on that! Of course, me being me, the consensus that the words are delivered in a clear and understandable way, and that the proper emotion is attached to them is crucial to my decision-making process. Now I know what's it's all about and have read the verses so I know the what and why. This is a vital part of my enjoyment process, and I think this recording will fit in with that nicely. It's already in the post, so I'll know soon enough. :)

8)

Well, in way I was spoiled by this recording because it was my first Carmina Burana performance on CD. Something about it just sold me from the very beginning and I didn't even need to hear a note. Carl Orff put his stamp of approval on the recording and that was good enough for me. :) But, yes, all of the reviews rate this recording very highly. Many of them stating it's the best performance they've heard. After hearing it, it was hard to argue with that! The soloists, chorus, orchestra, and Jochum himself were completely in-tune with the music and they make you believe it more than any others I've heard. This performance has all the magic, rhythmic vitality, heart, and emotion you could want.

Hope you sincerely enjoy it! It's been years since I've heard it, but if I can easily recall the performance as well as I just did for you, then this must be saying something.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: springrite on October 10, 2012, 07:17:58 PM
My first recording was De Burgos which I loved. But I lost it (must be to an ex-gf; a small price to pay?), so I got Dorati as a replacement which isn't nearly as satisfying.

I am picking up the Thielemann next week in Baltimore. I have heard differing opinions about it. So it must be at least interesting. I will be listening to it while driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 10, 2012, 07:26:40 PM
My first one was this one (loved the cover and the performance is pretty good too):
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61ygskDeuUL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2012, 07:45:44 PM
How is the audio quality, Greg? I've read several complaints about it from Amazon reviewers.

The audio is a little inconsistent, dry at times, but not unbearable, and the performance out weights this issue. 
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 08:10:53 PM
The audio is a little inconsistent, dry at times, but not unbearable, and the performance out weights this issue.

Thanks, Greg. I'll definitely consider it, but I seldom listen to Carmina Burana and the last time I listened to it was April 3rd, 2011 when I received the Tilson Thomas in the mail and fired it up on the stereo.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2012, 08:14:46 PM
Thanks, Greg. I'll definitely consider it, but I seldom listen to Carmina Burana and the last time I listened to it was April 3rd, 2011 when I received the Tilson Thomas in the mail and fired it up on the stereo.

BTW, great quote in your signature.  :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 08:40:20 PM
BTW, great quote in your signature.  :)

(http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/thumbsup.png)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 09:33:19 PM
My first one was this one (loved the cover and the performance is pretty good too):
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61ygskDeuUL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

I've always wondered about this one (and Ozawa's with the BSO), so would you say it's your favorite Carmina Burana performance?
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2012, 09:45:28 PM
Right now, I'm looking at this Ozawa/BSO performance on RCA and the price sure does look enticing enough:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0001TSWLY.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: kaergaard on October 11, 2012, 07:04:36 PM
Of the number of Carminas in my collection, the Eugen Jochum used to be on the top. Then there is one performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Sofia with an outstanding chorus. Penderecki and the State Cracow Philharmony Orchestra and Chorus, different, very good too. Now when I am in the mood for Orff and his Carmina I pick the one with Christian Thielemann conducting the Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Thielemann has just the right touch for this composition to make it sound perfect. Of course the fact that Simon Keenlyside is in the cast puts the extra briliance on this recording.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2012, 08:12:37 PM
Of the number of Carminas in my collection, the Eugen Jochum used to be on the top. Then there is one performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Sofia with an outstanding chorus. Penderecki and the State Cracow Philharmony Orchestra and Chorus, different, very good too. Now when I am in the mood for Orff and his Carmina I pick the one with Christian Thielemann conducting the Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Thielemann has just the right touch for this composition to make it sound perfect. Of course the fact that Simon Keenlyside is in the cast puts the extra briliance on this recording.

::) Know you tell me after I bought the Ozawa BSO recording. ;) I'll check out Thielemann at some point. I'm quite happy with buying Ozawa/BSO as I got it so cheap. I'm not a huge Carmina Burana fan, but it's good to have multiple performances of the work. I do enjoy the rhythmic vitality of the piece though.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 11, 2012, 08:29:25 PM
I've always wondered about this one (and Ozawa's with the BSO), so would you say it's your favorite Carmina Burana performance?
I like both, though my favorite is the Blomstedt. Ozawa is pretty good, but I find a bit less transparent than I prefer (though part of it is that the Blomstedt is just so darned clear in this regard). Still, it is pretty powerful. I have a hard time talking about the Levine, since it was my first. I love it. But it is totally different than the Blomstedt in its weightiness/power. Maybe see if there is an excerpt on youtube. I like the chorus a lot.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2012, 08:39:43 PM
I like both, though my favorite is the Blomstedt. Ozawa is pretty good, but I find a bit less transparent than I prefer (though part of it is that the Blomstedt is just so darned clear in this regard). Still, it is pretty powerful. I have a hard time talking about the Levine, since it was my first. I love it. But it is totally different than the Blomstedt in its weightiness/power. Maybe see if there is an excerpt on youtube. I like the chorus a lot.

What is up with this forum and Blomstedt? It's like he's the messiah or something. The guy does nothing for me. The only recordings I've really enjoyed of Blomstedt's were his Hindemith recordings. The beautiful thing about these particular readings is since Blomstedt has nothing to add to the music, he lets the orchestra rip as a result of his lack of vision which came as a bit of surprise since I don't associate exciting conducting from him. His Nielsen performances don't really do much for me anymore since I've heard Schonwandt, Chung, and Bernstein. Ozawa, I can take or leave, mostly leave, but I do enjoy his Ravel recordings a lot and he did a fantastic job with Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. Probably my favorite performance of that ballet. His Orff performance was certainly cheap enough ($4), so I figured I would take a chance on it. Levine is a conductor I like a lot, so his performance would be one I would be interested in getting if I were in the market for another Carmina Burana.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 12, 2012, 03:16:51 AM
John, I see Blomstedt having two bonuses to offer. First, the SFS, one of the top, possibly top 5 orchestras in the US. They've always been consistent with producing quality work. The second, and this could be more of a personal taste, is that Blomstedt offers a more objective interpretation in his recordings, a little lighter in added drama but is committed to allowing the nuances of the score to shine. Because of this, Blomstedt/SFS have my favorite Mahler 2, Sibelius Sym. set, a solid Orff Burana as discussed here, great Strauss, Hindemith and Nielsen.
 8)

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 12, 2012, 04:52:52 AM
John, I see Blomstedt having two bonuses to offer. First, the SFS, one of the top, possibly top 5 orchestras in the US. They've always been consistent with producing quality work. The second, and this could be more of a personal taste, is that Blomstedt offers a more objective interpretation in his recordings, a little lighter in added drama but is committed to allowing the nuances of the score to shine. Because of this, Blomstedt/SFS have my favorite Mahler 2, Sibelius Sym. set, a solid Orff Burana as discussed here, great Strauss, Hindemith and Nielsen.
 8)
I agree about the lighness and transparency. I feel I hear more details (or perhaps details I don't hear elsewhere). The soloists are consistent with this approach too, which gives some ethereal moments. This lightness gives some of the bite greater impact too. If you prefer your Carmina fuller and more rousing, this probably is not the ideal version. It's a version that has grown on me with time.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 12, 2012, 05:24:54 AM
Listening to the Levine again now - just fabulous. The chorus is very fine - controlled, precise, biting, in unison, etc. Very enjoyable.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: springrite on October 12, 2012, 05:30:08 AM
What is up with this forum and Blomstedt? It's like he's the messiah or something. The guy does nothing for me. The only recordings I've really enjoyed of Blomstedt's were his Hindemith recordings. The beautiful thing about these particular readings is since Blomstedt has nothing to add to the music, he lets the orchestra rip as a result of his lack of vision which came as a bit of surprise since I don't associate exciting conducting from him. His Nielsen performances don't really do much for me anymore since I've heard Schonwandt, Chung, and Bernstein. Ozawa, I can take or leave, mostly leave, but I do enjoy his Ravel recordings a lot and he did a fantastic job with Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. Probably my favorite performance of that ballet. His Orff performance was certainly cheap enough ($4), so I figured I would take a chance on it. Levine is a conductor I like a lot, so his performance would be one I would be interested in getting if I were in the market for another Carmina Burana.

My thought exactly. I like the Hindemith but dislike the Nielsen intensely! He is a very competent, even good conductor but...
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2012, 07:22:49 AM
John, I see Blomstedt having two bonuses to offer. First, the SFS, one of the top, possibly top 5 orchestras in the US. They've always been consistent with producing quality work. The second, and this could be more of a personal taste, is that Blomstedt offers a more objective interpretation in his recordings, a little lighter in added drama but is committed to allowing the nuances of the score to shine. Because of this, Blomstedt/SFS have my favorite Mahler 2, Sibelius Sym. set, a solid Orff Burana as discussed here, great Strauss, Hindemith and Nielsen.
 8)

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra are a fine group and have always performed well, but I just don't hold Blomstedt in high regard. His only saving grace are his Hindemith recordings. I've never liked his Sibelius recordings and I wouldn't even bother listening to his Strauss or Mahler, especially when there are so many other conductors who have performed these composer's music. But I have 19 cycles of Sibelius' symphonies, I could never possibly like them all.

After reading Neal's remarks, Levine will probably be my next Carmina Burana. I really enjoy Levine's conducting.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2012, 07:25:18 AM
He is a very competent, even good conductor but...

...he doesn't really bring a unique insight or any kind of risk-taking to the music.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: huntsman on February 22, 2013, 09:24:51 AM
Which is the best version?  :-\
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 22, 2013, 09:34:06 AM
Which is the best version?  :-\

There are many potential best versions. Get ready for many offerings.  ;D

I prefer Slatkin, Blomstedt, and Jochum in the orchestral version. But I love this chamber version...

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLhKn-yyPj_LRVvnp8NH7t8UVZ1Yl2qFwa9odikgB-6UBMVncHzw)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 22, 2013, 09:38:08 AM
Curiously, I heard the chamber version live in St Petersburg, at the Glinka Capella, and it was a visiting Scandinavian student ensemble (from Norway, though).
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Cato on February 22, 2013, 12:31:55 PM
You cannot go wrong with Orff's favorite version...



...because it has Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Ego Sum Abbas Cucaniensis) and the incredible Gerhard Stolze as the roasted swan in Olim lacus colueram.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 22, 2013, 12:35:49 PM
There are many potential best versions. Get ready for many offerings.  ;D

I prefer Slatkin, Blomstedt, and Jochum in the orchestral version.
I'm fine with any of these three myself! :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2013, 12:42:43 PM
You cannot go wrong with Orff's favorite version...



...because it has Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Ego Sum Abbas Cucaniensis) and the incredible Gerhard Stolze as the roasted swan in Olim lacus colueram.

This is the killer version for sure. I just re-listened to it last weekend, played it twice through because I could. :)

8)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Holden on February 22, 2013, 02:07:37 PM
There are two that I rate as top and I prefer them over the Jochum.



or



You'll note that both companies rate these as 'Great Recordings' and deservedly so.

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: david johnson on February 23, 2013, 01:00:27 AM
1) http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=7879

2) honorable mention: jochum
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon on February 23, 2013, 02:24:01 PM
This was always my favourite. Lucia Popp is to die for

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51e4g%2B8Ya7L._SL500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: jochanaan on February 27, 2013, 06:49:17 PM
This was always my favourite. Lucia Popp is to die for

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51e4g%2B8Ya7L._SL500_.jpg)
It's certainly one of the best vocally (I agree about La Lucia!), but I feel other conductors have a better handle on Orff's instrumental style and tempo markings.  Andre Previn and Eugene Ormandy, surprisingly, come very close to ideal tempos and style.

I've only heard the Jochum recording on radio broadcast, but what impressed me is its simple joy and exuberance.  They're having the time of their lives! ;D That alone makes it a favorite of mine.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Daimonion on July 01, 2013, 03:01:47 AM
Dear All,

   I hope you don't mind if I ask for one more suggestion. I would like to order, in particular, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (this time it is for a gift) but don't know which particular CD I should choose. Is there / are there any obvious choice(s)?

All the best,

Daimonion
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2013, 03:21:48 AM
This one: Jochum conducting, with Janowitz, Stolze, and Fischer-Dieskau




Sarge
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Cato on July 01, 2013, 03:25:42 AM
Dear All,

   I hope you don't mind if I ask for one more suggestion. I would like to order, in particular, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (this time it is for a gift) but don't know which particular CD I should choose. Is there / are there any obvious choice(s)?

All the best,

Daimonion

Amen to what Sarge says!

Carl Orff himself liked this one the best: Eugen Jochum and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the incredible Gerhard Stolze (singing the "Roast Swan Song"):

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 01, 2013, 03:29:25 AM
Good morning, Cato!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Daimonion on July 01, 2013, 04:35:04 AM
I've just (i.e. on last Friday) taken part in Carmina Burana's spectacle at the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow:

http://opera.krakow.pl/english.php?id=2281

It's a pity I cannot embed any video file as an example:-(
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Holden on July 01, 2013, 11:23:26 AM
This



or this



I prefer both to the Jochum
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: david johnson on July 01, 2013, 10:52:40 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Orff-Carmina-Burana-Ravel-Bolero/dp/B000002S3E/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1372751534&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=carmina+burana+fruhbek
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: North Star on July 02, 2013, 06:14:00 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Orff-Carmina-Burana-Ravel-Bolero/dp/B000002S3E/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1372751534&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=carmina+burana+fruhbek
Available here (and also in the music of the 20th C. box) - the Frühbeck de Burgos is the one I have. I would be interested in hearing how others, who may know several recordings, like it.

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: david johnson on July 03, 2013, 12:10:35 AM
North Star, it is the most exciting and best sounding to me.  I've had various recordings of the work since the 60's.  Many other good ones are out there, though  :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 03:25:03 AM
On the whole, I think: none.

Over the years, I have participated in two performances of the piece, and sat in the audience for a third. I find it one of those works which is exciting to take part in, but it strikes me as rather indifferent as a piece to listen to.  Now, I am open to that reflection being changed, if I find The Right Recording, e.g., however, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect any recording to rival the rich experience of being in the orchestra (or in the chorus) as one of the executants of the piece.

YMMV, of course; I am not asserting this as the way it should be for anyone else on the planet  0:)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 03, 2013, 04:14:26 AM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/03/yje2eqy3.jpg)


I know, I just broke the rules a bit.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 04:19:49 AM
Actually, I've been curious to visit those, so thanks, Greg  :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 03, 2013, 04:23:23 AM
Actually, I've been curious to visit those, so thanks, Greg  :)

I really like them, Karl. A bit more jarring, more unexpected than Burana. But it's in pieces like these that I find Orff to be in top form.

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 03, 2013, 05:19:26 AM
On the whole, I think: none.

Over the years, I have participated in two performances of the piece, and sat in the audience for a third. I find it one of those works which is exciting to take part in, but it strikes me as rather indifferent as a piece to listen to.  Now, I am open to that reflection being changed, if I find The Right Recording, e.g., however, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect any recording to rival the rich experience of being in the orchestra (or in the chorus) as one of the executants of the piece.

YMMV, of course; I am not asserting this as the way it should be for anyone else on the planet  0:)

This is why I like the Blomstedt recording. It is lighter and nimbler. Several of the solos have an ethereal nature (in the way it is done). I find this really adds to my enjoyment. I also find it quite transparent, so I can really hear the parts well. I find it wears well on repeated listenings too.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 05:24:19 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, Neal!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Beorn on July 03, 2013, 05:26:15 AM
On the whole, I think: none.

Over the years, I have participated in two performances of the piece, and sat in the audience for a third. I find it one of those works which is exciting to take part in, but it strikes me as rather indifferent as a piece to listen to.  Now, I am open to that reflection being changed, if I find The Right Recording, e.g., however, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect any recording to rival the rich experience of being in the orchestra (or in the chorus) as one of the executants of the piece.

YMMV, of course; I am not asserting this as the way it should be for anyone else on the planet  0:)


Maybe it should only be performed without an audience.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 05:26:41 AM
Or with zombies!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Beorn on July 03, 2013, 05:32:12 AM
Or with zombies!

Carmina Mortuus  ;D
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 05:34:16 AM
Zombina burana!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Cato on July 03, 2013, 06:01:40 AM
I just came across this: a 10 CD set for c. $20. ( ???) with 2 versions of the Carmina Burana, plus Orff's more experimental and percussive works, along with two later operas which hearken back to the Carmina Burana style, Der Mond and Die Kluge (The Moon and The Wise Woman).

Sounds like a deal!

http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4 (http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4)

For some reason the ASIN will not work!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2013, 06:03:14 AM
Most interesting, Cato.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Beorn on July 03, 2013, 06:06:44 AM
I just came across this: a 10 CD set for c. $20. ( ???) with 2 versions of the Carmina Burana, plus Orff's more experimental and percussive works, along with two later operas which hearken back to the Carmina Burana style, Der Mond and Die Kluge (The Moon and The Wise Woman).

Sounds like a deal!

http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4 (http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4)

For some reason the ASIN will not work!

That might be orfferdoing it a bit.  ;)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 03, 2013, 06:25:52 AM
I just came across this: a 10 CD set for c. $20. ( ???) with 2 versions of the Carmina Burana, plus Orff's more experimental and percussive works, along with two later operas which hearken back to the Carmina Burana style, Der Mond and Die Kluge (The Moon and The Wise Woman).

Sounds like a deal!

http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4 (http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Orff-Lindermeier-Schwarzkopf-Graham-Hall/dp/B006FZG8S2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_4)

For some reason the ASIN will not work!

Great set! I have that Der Mond with Sawallisch that's included there, and it's wonderful.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: jut1972 on July 03, 2013, 10:13:42 AM
You say Carmina
I say Burana
Carmina
Burana
Carmina
Burana
Lets call the whole thing Orff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwrgAnx6Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwrgAnx6Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Cato on July 03, 2013, 10:28:11 AM
You say Carmina
I say Burana
Carmina
Burana
Carmina
Burana
Lets call the whole thing Orff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwrgAnx6Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwrgAnx6Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player)

That might be orfferdoing it a bit.  ;)

Okay, these jokes are just...Orfful!   ???
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Xenophanes on July 04, 2013, 02:41:12 PM
On the whole, I think: none.

Over the years, I have participated in two performances of the piece, and sat in the audience for a third. I find it one of those works which is exciting to take part in, but it strikes me as rather indifferent as a piece to listen to.  Now, I am open to that reflection being changed, if I find The Right Recording, e.g., however, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect any recording to rival the rich experience of being in the orchestra (or in the chorus) as one of the executants of the piece.

YMMV, of course; I am not asserting this as the way it should be for anyone else on the planet  0:)


That matches my experience. I have been in two performances and some excerpts. In the excerpts, I did some of the baritone solos (they couldn't find a soprano or tenor who wanted to do the solos, but I volunteered for the baritone solos). All those high Gs in the Estuans interius were at the time just about at the limit of my useful range, so it was quite tiring to rehearse it-my voice has gone up a little in my old age so I could do it more easily now than 30 years ago. But it's great fun to do, and the choruses aren't all that difficult vocally.  I don't really enjoy recordings of it and don't think I would find it that great to hear from the audience, either, except for the spectacle.  But lots of people enjoy it!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: North Star on July 04, 2013, 10:28:00 PM
North Star, it is the most exciting and best sounding to me.  I've had various recordings of the work since the 60's.  Many other good ones are out there, though  :)
Thanks! I like it very well myself, too, but also agree with Karl's sentiment - this work would definitely be more exciting live.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: jochanaan on July 08, 2013, 03:43:44 PM
On the whole, I think: none.

Over the years, I have participated in two performances of the piece, and sat in the audience for a third. I find it one of those works which is exciting to take part in, but it strikes me as rather indifferent as a piece to listen to.  Now, I am open to that reflection being changed, if I find The Right Recording, e.g., however, I don't know that it is reasonable to expect any recording to rival the rich experience of being in the orchestra (or in the chorus) as one of the executants of the piece.

YMMV, of course; I am not asserting this as the way it should be for anyone else on the planet  0:)

I feel that way about a number of pieces, Karl.  In fact, as an oboist I often think I have the ideal "listening" seat!  Complete surround sound because I'm literally in the middle.  And as focused as I have to be when performing, there's no chance I'll miss much if I can hear it at all!  (Ironically, the only group of players I have consistent trouble hearing is the first violins! :o)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: huntsman on July 09, 2013, 11:53:04 PM
I bought the Jochum based on a recommendation here and to be honest I was decidedly underwhelmed.

Whether or not my taste was ruined by years of listening to the Old Spice advert I don't know, but this versions seemed a little wishy-washy to me and I'd prefer far more punch.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: snyprrr on July 16, 2013, 05:42:13 AM
Oh, I just tripped over 'O Fortuna' whilst searching for music the Band could play. WOW! It's just got the perfect driving rhythm and familiarity that would fit so purrrfectly in this particular spot.

It's also very easy to play on guitar and sounds just right as a heavy guitar piece...

dah dah, dih dih

dah dah, dih dih

dah dah dah daaaah daaaah dih dih

...with that pulsating tonic-fifth underneath (bom-bi bom-bi bom-bi bom-bi)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: jochanaan on July 17, 2013, 09:14:04 AM
Okay, these jokes are just...Orfful!   ???
Get Orff my Bach! ;D
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 22, 2017, 10:28:46 AM
This week I listened to a couple CB discs, which gave rise to an interesting finding.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81YWv4JtZML._SY355_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/718h4uFpl7L._SX355_.jpg)

And

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71LMTSLpGSL._SX355_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 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.)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André 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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: mc ukrneal 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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Monsieur Croche 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)

https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo

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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: TheGSMoeller 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?

https://www.youtube.com/v/RGJb2Q14z4g


And yes, Orff deserves his own page NOT only dedicated to Carmina Burana.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: millionrainbows 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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: LKB 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,

LKB
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: knight66 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.

Mike
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Marc 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)

https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo

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!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: zamyrabyrd 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)

https://www.youtube.com/v/IKc47r6_lFo

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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Xenophanes 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. 
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 13, 2021, 03:57:26 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:


Quote
(https://img.discogs.com/XBKmkJ2KSFBxJazC9fCnWXMbo94=/fit-in/500x500/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-10892659-1506071414-5329.jpeg.jpg)

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
(https://img.discogs.com/XgXdtlxIvfof3JvqNLqOdaBMIJc=/fit-in/600x602/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8715963-1613032442-7767.jpeg.jpg)

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).

(https://img.discogs.com/BgfU6Bwn7ehIM9RUxMGvfUMUAEg=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-2411605-1500552029-3618.jpeg.jpg)

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 !
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon 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?

(https://img.discogs.com/akDF394OcacbeUH_XNnvXOMfZm0=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4098940-1577519295-3322.jpeg.jpg)

Incidentally, did you notice that in the cover photo of the Dorati version above, they have misspelled the name of Norma Burrowes (Borrowes).?
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André 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?

(https://img.discogs.com/akDF394OcacbeUH_XNnvXOMfZm0=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4098940-1577519295-3322.jpeg.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: JBS 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?

(https://img.discogs.com/akDF394OcacbeUH_XNnvXOMfZm0=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4098940-1577519295-3322.jpeg.jpg)

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
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: ritter 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.

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents_france-1140x760.jpg)

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents-1140x760.jpg)

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.).
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: JBS on August 14, 2021, 10:23:15 AM
I like the arch of books around the doorway!
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André 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.

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents_france-1140x760.jpg)

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents-1140x760.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 14, 2021, 03:18:30 PM
Moving right along, here’s another cover for the Frühbeck version I listened to today:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/612IQ2NakzL._AC_.jpg)

My copy is one bizarrely coupled with A Night on the Bare Mountain - not even by Frühbeck, but by Sawallisch  ???.

As is often the case with this work the first thing one notices is the sound. Scored for full orchestra with a very expanded percussion section, full chorus, children’s chorus and soloists, no two versions will sound the same. Somewhere near the one minute mark in the opening number Ô fortuna, one’s marks fall into place and the ear adjusts to the performers/engineers’ chosen balances. In this case the percussion is given due prominence (Ormandy-Sony were way too discrete here), with a good presence afforded to the tam tam (D. Hurwitz loves this version). Also, reasonable clarity is achieved most of the time in this 55 year old recording.

One drawback though is that the recording is bass-shy and the upper frequencies tend to fizz when the massed forces give their all. And that they do, as this is a very committed performance from both orchestra and chorus. Frühbeck is not shy to underline individual orchestral lines - flute, oboe, trombone, etc. That kind of extra presence compensates for the occasional lack of definition.

Frühbeck was born in Spain of German parents (couldn’t find from where) and he studied conducting in Munich in the mid-late fifties, where I imagine he must have come to know the piece firsthand. He performed it throughout his life right up to his death in 2014. His affection for the work really shows in that recording. The soloists are good (the two baritones sharing duties), very good (tenor Gerhard Unger) and remarkable (Lucia Popp’s creamy high lyric soprano) respectively. Unger’s roasted swan song is beautifully sung but his swan seems resigned rather than terrified. Excellent, but ultimately no cigar. Popp’s Dulcissime is fantastic. The aria starts with a bang, a giant leap up to high D followed by melismatic vocalizations in alt. Many sopranos hit the high D, then fudge the coloratura that follows. Not Popp, who vocalizes beautifully, articulating each note clearly.

I wish EMI would clean up and remaster the tapes using the latest technology. Not sure it’s possible though. I’ve read that that slight distortion was inherent to the original recording, just like the Verdi Requiem under Giulini they issued a year or two before that one. Still, this is a version that has more ‘face’ than most of the competition. I’m keeping it.  :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 15, 2021, 12:13:49 AM
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.

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents_france-1140x760.jpg)

(https://www.solosophie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/le_bal_des_ardents-1140x760.jpg)

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.).

Oh, wow, this place looks amazing.

One of my favourite places in London is Daunt Books in Marylebone Road.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/85/54/d6/8554d67fb5b6061a0dd7da8a4dc7b17d.jpg)

(http://www.urban75.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/daunt-books-marylebone-04.jpg)

I take pleasure in knowing that such places still exist.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 15, 2021, 12:20:29 AM
Moving right along, here’s another cover for the Frühbeck version I listened to today:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/612IQ2NakzL._AC_.jpg)

My copy is one bizarrely coupled with A Night on the Bare Mountain - not even by Frühbeck, but by Sawallisch  ???.

As is often the case with this work the first thing one notices is the sound. Scored for full orchestra with a very expanded percussion section, full chorus, children’s chorus and soloists, no two versions will sound the same. Somewhere near the one minute mark in the opening number Ô fortuna, one’s marks fall into place and the ear adjusts to the performers/engineers’ chosen balances. In this case the percussion is given due prominence (Ormandy-Sony were way too discrete here), with a good presence afforded to the tam tam (D. Hurwitz loves this version). Also, reasonable clarity is achieved most of the time in this 55 year old recording.

One drawback though is that the recording is bass-shy and the upper frequencies tend to fizz when the massed forces give their all. And that they do, as this is a very committed performance from both orchestra and chorus. Frühbeck is not shy to underline individual orchestral lines - flute, oboe, trombone, etc. That kind of extra presence compensates for the occasional lack of definition.

Frühbeck was born in Spain of German parents (couldn’t find from where) and he studied conducting in Munich in the mid-late fifties, where I imagine he must have come to know the piece firsthand. He performed it throughout his life right up to his death in 2014. His affection for the work really shows in that recording. The soloists are good (the two baritones sharing duties), very good (tenor Gerhard Unger) and remarkable (Lucia Popp’s creamy high lyric soprano) respectively. Unger’s roasted swan song is beautifully sung but his swan seems resigned rather than terrified. Excellent, but ultimately no cigar. Popp’s Dulcissime is fantastic. The aria starts with a bang, a giant leap up to high D followed by melismatic vocalizations in alt. Many sopranos hit the high D, then fudge the coloratura that follows. Not Popp, who vocalizes beautifully, articulating each note clearly.

I wish EMI would clean up and remaster the tapes using the latest technology. Not sure it’s possible though. I’ve read that that slight distortion was inherent to the original recording, just like the Verdi Requiem under Giulini they issued a year or two before that one. Still, this is a version that has more ‘face’ than most of the competition. I’m keeping it.  :)

I remember when I first bought the piece on CD, I taaok the advice of the Penguin Guide and went for the Previn, but it just lacked the excitement and thrill of this recording for me, and Sheila Armstrong is good, but she's no Lucia Popp! Ultimately I replaced it with the Frühbeck. I know that we often tend to prefer recordings we had when we first got to know a piece, but it's good to har that  it's still appreciated.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 15, 2021, 01:14:12 AM
No mention yet for Muti - the most exciting version I know by some way.  Stunning orchestral work, Arleen Auger just gorgeous and a swaggering Baritone Bisop from Johnathan Summers.  Lucia Popp is imperious in Orff (check out Die Kluge and Der Mond) but Auger runs her close

(https://img.discogs.com/N-5hz174rWaF6pIlzh7Gjm59L1Q=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-3759570-1397813684-3533.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: ritter on August 15, 2021, 04:22:15 AM
Oh, wow, this place looks amazing.

One of my favourite places in London is Daunt Books in Marylebone Road.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/85/54/d6/8554d67fb5b6061a0dd7da8a4dc7b17d.jpg)

(http://www.urban75.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/daunt-books-marylebone-04.jpg)

I take pleasure in knowing that such places still exist.
I walked into it by chance a couple of years ago, lovely place indeed. It’s such a pity that Foyles is but a shadow of what it was some 25 years ago… :(

Apologies for remaining off-topic  :-[
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 16, 2021, 02:30:10 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/Dnunbb83xZdOyZr3ITcykaJgItA=/fit-in/600x565/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8983622-1472748051-6164.jpeg.jpg)

Muti conducts a strong, colourful performance. The initial chords register forcefully, with a big contribution from the percussion section, notably the tam tam, the 2 pianos and the bass drum. There are some inconsistencies though: while soft tam tam strokes are clearly heard at ‘nunc obdurat et tunc curat’ in the first stanza of O Fortuna, they are inaudible in the second stanza at ‘obumbrata et velata’ (Frühbeck is very good there). Also, Muti exaggerates the slow tempos and the soft dynamics in the dreamy parts - words become inaudible.

My main criticism though is about the Latin pronunciation. Muti chooses to have the consonants done as the Italians do, which is quite different from the German way. Why ?? CB is the most famous vocal work to come out of Germany in the XXth century. AFAIK this must be the only major recording that flaunts tradition (and common sense) in that regard. ‘Semper crescis’ becomes semper crestchis instead of semper crestsis,  ‘egestatem’ becomes edjestatem instead of eggestatem (a hard g as in egg) and so on. No big deal, but considering the dozens of occurences (and their repetitions) this becomes annoying.

The soloists are mostly excellent, with a truly adorable prestation from Arleen Auger - and not just in Dulcissime. Her breath control is phenomenal. Tenor John van Kesteren is said to have been Orff’s favourite tenor in the part and sang it many times. However at that point in his career (he was pushing 60) I fear he was no longer up to his demanding part in the roasted song swan. He is not supposed to sound comfortable in the highest reaches of his solo (who likes to be roasted on a fire ?) but it’s been done better and more convincingly by others like Gerhard Unger or the sensational Louis Devos. Baritone Jonathan Summers is entirely reliable throughout.

Overall this is an exciting, fiery performance that occasionally overplays (or underplays) its hand - sign of a sense of adventure and involvement from the conductor. Better this than underinterpreting or mere efficiency.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 18, 2021, 04:00:09 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/619eUiovW7L._AC_.jpg)

I bought this on LP when it came out, so this is the version I got to know first. The work eventually fell out of favour and it took a while before I returned to this version (on cd) some 10 years ago. Despite a few quirks I consider it one of the best both musically and technically. The chorus is very good, all three soloists sing superbly and Tilson Thomas conducts with punch, flair for the drama and youthful enthusiasm.

The only galling issue is the pronunciation of the latin text. There are quite different ways to pronounce the consonants. I don’t much care if it’s done the german way or the italian way, but to have a reading where both coexist jars somewhat. The english tenor, american soprano and chorus pronounce like the Germans do, while the german baritone does it all’italiana  ???.  On top of that the children have yet another way to pronounce it: the yankee way ! Quite the melting pot. But since they are all very musical and hugely committed, I’ll take that over many other versions any day.

Originally recorded in quadraphonic sound with an elaborate spatial set up, it sounds splendid to me in a normal stereophonic setting. The percussion in the opening chorus did make me sit up straight right from the beginning !
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 on August 18, 2021, 11:15:09 PM
I wonder how Latin was pronounced in 13th-14th century Europe. Certainly there were already local differences but it must have been sufficiently intelligible between Denmark and France to serve as lingua franca.
As for singing, I think the main reason is that the Germanized pronunciation is overall not as common as the italianate and partly more difficult to pronounce (e.g. "eks-tselsis"). However, it should not differ within a performance and the middle High German is probably more of a pronunciation challenge anyway. (One of my faves are the bilingual passages like "wer sol mich minnen - Quis me amabit?")
This was not uncommon, there are still a few well known German Xmas Carols going back to the high/late middle ages that probably started in Latin and then became mixed. (The most famous one is "In dulci jubilo - nun singet und seid froh".)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Roasted Swan on August 19, 2021, 12:19:11 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/619eUiovW7L._AC_.jpg)

I bought this on LP when it came out, so this is the version I got to know first. The work eventually fell out of favour and it took a while before I returned to this version (on cd) some 10 years ago. Despite a few quirks I consider it one of the best both musically and technically. The chorus is very good, all three soloists sing superbly and Tilson Thomas conducts with punch, flair for the drama and youthful enthusiasm.

The only galling issue is the pronunciation of the latin text. There are quite different ways to pronounce the consonants. I don’t much care if it’s done the german way or the italian way, but to have a reading where both coexist jars somewhat. The english tenor, american soprano and chorus pronounce like the Germans do, while the german baritone does it all’italiana  ???.  On top of that the children have yet another way to pronounce it: the yankee way ! Quite the melting pot. But since they are all very musical and hugely committed, I’ll take that over many other versions any day.

Originally recorded in quadraphonic sound with an elaborate spatial set up, it sounds splendid to me in a normal stereophonic setting. The percussion in the opening chorus did make me sit up straight right from the beginning !

This recording in its original quadrophonic set-up is one of the releases that Dutton have remastered.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81JoHDWbPaL._AC_SL1422_.jpg)

I have it in this format - although my SACD set-up is (sadly) just standard stereo.  The couplings have to be about as eclectic (or weird!) as they come - with Gershwin and Beethoven choral works the 2-disc companions!  The liner is a reprint of the original LP so is interesting regarding how the project was set up recorded.  I can't share your enthusaism for the actual performance which is good but not exceptional and I do find the style of the engineering intrusive.

Thankyou for your information about the italianate pronunciation on the Muti recording - something I was blissfully unaware of.  But for me the key is your final comment where the engagement with the performance trumps wayward linguistics!  By that latter measure so many famous vocal/choral/operatic recordings would be in the rubbish bin of history [that said I can't listen to the Russian/Rohzdestvensky recording of the Sea Symphony for its mangled English...]
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Biffo on August 19, 2021, 12:24:59 AM
What people are calling 'Italianate' is the way I was taught to pronounce Latin when we were learning to recite the Mass all those years ago here in England. We were instructed by an Irish nun. I only heard the 'German' version many years later when I started to collect LPs.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 on August 19, 2021, 12:56:39 AM
I also first encountered the italianate Latin on records ;) and found it rather strange at first.
In school teachers either used the Germanized Latin (vowels more closed, v like in German, c before bright vowels as "ts" etc.) or a mix between Germanized and some approximation of Classical Latin (correct "hard" "c" always like "k"). I do not recall any teacher trying the reconstruction of Classical Latin that seems to be more common among a younger generation (i.e. about my age, born in the 1970s or later) of Latin scholars and teachers (e.g. u and v like w in English, vowels more open than in German, proper lengths etc.).
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Biffo on August 19, 2021, 01:45:11 AM
I also first encountered the italianate Latin on records ;) and found it rather strange at first.
In school teachers either used the Germanized Latin (vowels more closed, v like in German, c before bright vowels as "ts" etc.) or a mix between Germanized and some approximation of Classical Latin (correct "hard" "c" always like "k"). I do not recall any teacher trying the reconstruction of Classical Latin that seems to be more common among a younger generation (i.e. about my age, born in the 1970s or later) of Latin scholars and teachers (e.g. u and v like w in English, vowels more open than in German, proper lengths etc.).

When I studied Latin as a language we used a pronunciation that I later found out was known as 'neo-classical Latin'. This had the hard 'c' (like 'k') and 'v' pronounced like the English 'w'. Caesar was pronounced 'Kaisar', almost the same as in German. I vaguely remember reading that neo-classical Latin pronunciation was based on German though I have never followed this up so don't know why.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 on August 19, 2021, 02:18:17 AM
No, I think the classical approximation is pretty good and has nothing to do with German, maybe some German scholars came up with it first? But it is not that difficult, one just has to look into some 1st century Greek sources etc. or look at mistakes and some other things to get most of the pronunciation.

The "traditional" church and school pronunciation of Latin in German (and this must stem from the late middle ages) was with c = ts before i,e, ae, with "ti" also tending to become "tsi". They would tell you that "Kaiser" came from Caesar (so in late antiquity or early middle ages the "c" must still have been hard and the "ae" more like "ai")  but the latter would still be pronounced "Tseh-sar".
In any case, I think it can be safely assumed that Orff in the 1930s would have expected the Germanized pronunciation, regardless of how people spoke in 1300 when they first sang the original Carmina Burana.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 19, 2021, 06:11:42 AM
No, I think the classical approximation is pretty good and has nothing to do with German, maybe some German scholars came up with it first? But it is not that difficult, one just has to look into some 1st century Greek sources etc. or look at mistakes and some other things to get most of the pronunciation.

The "traditional" church and school pronunciation of Latin in German (and this must stem from the late middle ages) was with c = ts before i,e, ae, with "ti" also tending to become "tsi". They would tell you that "Kaiser" came from Caesar (so in late antiquity or early middle ages the "c" must still have been hard and the "ae" more like "ai")  but the latter would still be pronounced "Tseh-sar".
In any case, I think it can be safely assumed that Orff in the 1930s would have expected the Germanized pronunciation, regardless of how people spoke in 1300 when they first sang the original Carmina Burana.

Exactly. That’s why the ‘correct’ latin pronunciation for that work must be that currently used in Germany - or at least Bavaria. However, old habits die hard and I can understand why some productions do it with the italianate pronunciation -  referred to occasionally as ‘ecclesiastical Latin’. Also, CB is a highly rythm-based work, with a propulsive, sometimes motoric way to them (all these tongue twisting ‘bibit’ lines!).

Try pronouncing these lines:

Ludo mentis aciem,
Egestatem,
Potestatem
Dissolvit ut glaciem.

The german way has a hard g, while the c is a ‘ts’ : you get ‘atsiem’ and ‘glatsiem’, and ‘eggestatem’ (as in egg). If you do it in italianate Latin, you  have ‘dj’ in ‘edjestatem’ and ‘tch’ in ‘atchiem’ and ‘glatchiem’. Now, which pronunciation allows for the most rythmically incisive enunciation ? That is the essence of the debate.

The story of the MTT production, as narrated by producer Andrew Kazdin in the booklet, has it that baritone Peter Binder was ‘flown to Cleveland directly from his home in Darmstadt’. Now, that begs the question: what happened then? My hunch is that Binder came in, sang his numbers in what he assumed would be the pronunciation everyone would use (because german Latin is pronounced that way only in Germany and he must have assumed the ‘standard’ latin pronunciation would be used in a production made in the USA), then returned home, leaving the project continue without him. He may even have sung in his own booth, away from the chorus. The recording sessions were unusually complex to set logistically (each number had its own seating arrangement and microphone placement). Cleveland Chorus Director Robert Page was at the helm and throughout the chorus sing the german way. That's the only explanation I can think of why the German baritone would sing in ecclesiastical Latin. Anyhow, it’s just a matter of detail. It’s the discrepancy that is curious, not the choice of one vs the other.

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Holden on August 19, 2021, 01:27:01 PM
Exactly. That’s why the ‘correct’ latin pronunciation for that work must be that currently used in Germany - or at least Bavaria. However, old habits die hard and I can understand why some productions do it with the italianate pronunciation -  referred to occasionally as ‘ecclesiastical Latin’. Also, CB is a highly rythm-based work, with a propulsive, sometimes motoric way to them (all these tongue twisting ‘bibit’ lines!).

Try pronouncing these lines:

Ludo mentis aciem,
Egestatem,
Potestatem
Dissolvit ut glaciem.

The german way has a hard g, while the c is a ‘ts’ : you get ‘atsiem’ and ‘glatsiem’, and ‘eggestatem’ (as in egg). If you do it in italianate Latin, you  have ‘dj’ in ‘edjestatem’ and ‘tch’ in ‘atchiem’ and ‘glatchiem’. Now, which pronunciation allows for the most rythmically incisive enunciation ? That is the essence of the debate.

The story of the MTT production, as narrated by producer Andrew Kazdin in the booklet, has it that baritone Peter Binder was ‘flown to Cleveland directly from his home in Darmstadt’. Now, that begs the question: what happened then? My hunch is that Binder came in, sang his numbers in what he assumed would be the pronunciation everyone would use (because german Latin is pronounced that way only in Germany and he must have assumed the ‘standard’ latin pronunciation would be used in a production made in the USA), then returned home, leaving the project continue without him. He may even have sung in his own booth, away from the chorus. The recording sessions were unusually complex to set logistically (each number had its own seating arrangement and microphone placement). Cleveland Chorus Director Robert Page was at the helm and throughout the chorus sing the german way. That's the only explanation I can think of why the German baritone would sing in ecclesiastical Latin. Anyhow, it’s just a matter of detail. It’s the discrepancy that is curious, not the choice of one vs the other.

There's even more to this looking at those three phrases and taking the German latin pronunciation into account

mentis is menteess

Dissolvit is deesolfeet

One thing you can say about the first Previn (EMI) is that they got this spot on.

Another pronounciation conumdrum is the letter 'c' all appearing in 'Dies nox et omnia' and all pronounced differently.

contraria
scitis
facies

in 'michi' the c is silent yet it's pronounced four lines later in 'pulchra'.



EDIT:

The Latin I learnt at school was the Germanic and I have no idea if other schools in the area used this or the  Italianate.

The strong case for using the Germanic pronounciation comes in 'Floret silva nobilis'. Towards the end of the verse, Latin gives way to a form of High German so the pronounciation of the 'g's, 'j's and 'ch's (in particular) remain the same. It reverts back to Latin in "Estuans interius".

When I first heard Carmina Burana (at Uni, I got to sing it) it immediately took me back to high school and three years conjugating verbs in four endings. If that wasn't hard enough there were declensions, ablative and genitive cases to learn. I couldn't wait to drop it but to stay in what you would call the 'extension' class for all other subjects I had no choice but to take it.

The one thing I vividly remember was this little poem which I'm sure will be familiar to some of you.

Latin is a dead language
As dead as dead can be
It killed the ancient Romans
And now it's killing me.



Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 24, 2021, 10:29:59 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/2WmukCqSXWT7dQb8Dt9i4SlckGY=/fit-in/500x500/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-16043601-1617454009-4747.jpeg.jpg)
(https://img.discogs.com/KqWpiJNQuqHx5JnmI4mNS3ZWYAY=/fit-in/600x545/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-11390100-1515648517-1612.jpeg.jpg)

The Sawallisch need not detain us long. Although it has some historic significance and is not without insights, its age (1956 mono recording) precludes a general recommendation. The pluses include the directness and vigour of the conducting, an excellent soprano and very good tenor, and a real sense of a home team doing what they do best. Except that that best has been bettered in parts or in full quite a few times since. The disc ends with a thank you speech by Orff to all concerned. The composer was obviously pleased.

The Kegel is one of the top 5, even top 3 versions. Everything in it bespeaks authenticity, authority and overall excellence. There is simply nothing to take away from that stellar performance, not least from the awesome chorus. Kegel conducts a version where the flashy crash bang wallop ( ;)) parts of the orchestration are played strictly as they should be - unemphasized by either conductor, players or the sound engineers. What we get instead is a whole level of low dynamics that make the listener sit up and his ears perk up. The articulation of the motoric rythms by the chorus singing p or pp is phenomenal. All three soloists are excellent. Soprano Celestina Casapietra’s In trutina is more womanly than girlish, her tone creamy and pure yet rounded and without any acidity - sexy and alluring. Her Dulcissime flies up on a silky thread of tone totally different from Gruberova’s lusty vocal orgasm (with Ozawa on Philips). Even the 1974 sound is of the best: clear, deep, ample and warm. This one’s a classic.

Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 on August 24, 2021, 10:43:06 AM
There is an earlier Kegel from 1960 (I think without the other two pieces) with differen soloists that some people also like. I am never sure which one is referred to if Kegel is recommended.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 24, 2021, 11:10:51 AM
Good point. I haven’t heard the earlier one. While not impossible to find, it is harder to come by than his second version. Also, I doubt very much that the sonics hold up to the newer one.

David Hurwitz recommends that 1974 Kegel without mentioning the 1960 one. I just watched his video and he rightly mentions that it’s not the most percussive version, but praises the chorus’ phenomenal singing and overall excellence.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 28, 2021, 10:49:40 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51GhVnLTiiL._AC_.jpg)

The first ever (?) recording of CB, recorded by the Bavarian Radio in 1952. The sound shows its age. It is satisfyingly full but there is some confusion in the big choral numbers. Jochum conducts with a sure hand and the bavarian forces are with him all the way. The chorus however was made up of wobblers (the ladies in particular) and the orchestra was not yet the powerhouse it would become a couple of decades later. Also, there are slightly too long pauses between some of the movements (not all) which disrupts the natural flow of the music. This may seem petty, but part of CB’s effect depends on that continuous musical lava flow carrying all before it. Careless editing (the Daniel Harding DG release for example) can turn listening into an irritating game of stop and go. That is not so pronounced here, but disconcerting all the same.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: JBS on August 28, 2021, 06:06:22 PM
Just to clarify: that would be this recording?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61szeq3hI6L.jpg)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on August 29, 2021, 07:21:41 AM
Just to clarify: that would be this recording?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61szeq3hI6L.jpg)

Yes, that’s the one. The soloists are very good, by the way (forgot to mention it).
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on September 05, 2021, 03:56:20 PM
(https://www.amazon.ca/images/I/715q6TTG4IL._AC_SL400_.jpg)

This is one of Dave Hurwitz’ top recommendations - his top one actually IIRC. I’m not sure it deserves that accolade. While the orchestral playing is spectacular and the recording of demonstration quality, I find the chorus rarely rise above the merely proficient. They are extremely good and musically accurate but they don’t articulate the words with any kind of bite and relish. Their ultra smooth delivery takes the edge off the text, especially at soft dynamics, precisely where some conductors bring the text thrillingly alive. The soloists are a good lot, musically up to the huge demands Orff puts on them, and verbally creative and convincing. The baritone takes some getting used to - it’s an unconventional kind of voice, but he inhabits his parts very convincingly.

Most numbers segue into one another attacca, which is all to the good. Overall a very impressive achievement thanks to the superlative sound, excellent orchestral and solo singing. It would have been a triumph if the chorus had put some fire in their pants, but they’re too polite a bunch, I think.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Jo498 on September 05, 2021, 11:26:08 PM
I am only an occasional friend of this piece. But I think with CB there has been a tendency of sonically spectacular recordings to be praised way beyond their merits. (One more factor could be reviewers understanding little of the text and less of the general background of either Orff or the middle ages.)

I think the first CD I bought (I had heard the piece before in Jochum's recording and once seen the Ponelle "movie", cond. Eichhorn) was Blomstedt/Decca (or it could have been Chailly, in any case an 1990s Decca) that had been similarly praised to the skies I was rather disappointed. I have long since gotten rid of it but I found it sterile and boring, as far from raucous or seductive as one could imagine, despite technically excellent work of all contributors. I wrote about this a few years ago above, so it was probably Blomstedt. Even the Frühbeck de Burgos is for me on the border of being almost "too slick".
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on September 07, 2021, 11:47:42 AM
(https://www.amazon.ca/images/I/61ZVdQ8FkvL._AC_.jpg)

In short: one of the best, but not THE best. It does sport two remarkable soloists in Thomas Hampson and the sizzlingly alluring Edita Gruberova. Orchestral playing is excellent, and so is the recorded sound, with no gimmickry. The chorus is japanese, the children’s chorus local (Berlin). While technically proficient, their delivery lacks verbal incisiveness. Ozawa’s  conducting injects some welcome dynamism in the more massive numbers (like the opening and closing O Fortuna). It is markedly different from Ozawa’s Boston account from 2 decades earlier.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on September 15, 2021, 05:18:10 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/ZZx3wFFZyfMER2hOo8aYQO-aTQU=/fit-in/600x594/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-5833671-1403977663-1059.jpeg.jpg)

I kept this one for last, as I remembered it to be my favourite. Well, my taste has changed a bit, thanks to renewed exposure to the work. I’d say it’s one of the 5 best, probably the most accomplished of all on the technical side of things : orchestral execution, choral singing and engineering. The soloists are a very accomplished trio, especially the outstanding Mark Oswald (baritone), but maybe not especially characterful. Dutoit’s conducting is mightily efficient but lacks tension in places. He’s Swiss, so you get cleanliness, smartness, impeccable gestures but not a hair is out of place. CB is sometimes garrulous, frequently sardonic and that’s a trait Dutoit is reluctant to convey. To some it will be a virtue, so your mileage may vary. What cannot be disputed is that this Decca release boasts the finest engineering of all. The depth and clarity of the soundstage are outstanding, the warmth and precision superb.

At this point I’d rate the top versions thus:

Top tier:

- Kegel
- Jochum stereo
- Ozawa Berlin

Second tier:

- Dorati
- Dutoit
- Runnicles
- Tilson Thomas

Honorable mentions to Muti, Frühbeck de Burgos, Thielemann.
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: LKB on September 19, 2021, 08:31:15 AM
CB and l go back to 1974 or '75, when the conductor of my high school's symphonic band recruited me to play timpani for the ensemble's performance at a local band festival.

As l had not yet learned to read music, l required a recording from which l could memorize the timpani parts. I wound up with the Jochum DG stereo LP, which simultaneously introduced me to Deutsche Grammophone, Jochum, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau et. al.

The band festival was ... memorable. As we were setting up for the performance, l suddenly realized that l only had two drums available ( CB is scored for two timpanists, with a minimum of four drums ). For rehearsals we had borrowed timpani from the neighboring middle-school, but nobody had made any arrangement for the performance. So, l asked the timpanist of one of the other bands if his director would allow me to use their drums, and this request was granted... whew!

So l now had the required drums, but no music stand. Not a big deal since l had the thing memorized, but l needed something to rest my mallets on. l couldn't bring myself to further begging, and decided my briefcase on the floor would suffice.

The performance was about as good as a high school can deliver, and l had a blast. Playing timps for CB is an absolutely primal experience, and I've always been grateful for the opportunity.

I've since had the good fortune to sing bass in the chorus as well as the baritone solos, from the mid- '90's up to 2019.

As far as recordings go, I've owned several but the Jochum imprint remains my first choice. Now if someone would just come out with an SACD remaster...
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: André on September 19, 2021, 10:13:01 AM
Great story, LKB !  :)
Title: Re: Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2021, 11:39:53 AM
I listened to Orff's Carmina Burana once and that was enough for me. :)