Orff: Carmina Burana

Orff: Carmina Burana

by Christian Thielemann
     
 
Orff's famous setting of medieval Latin poems has great energy and epic sweep. No wonder it's so popular. The brilliant young conductor Christian Thielemann whips up the German Opera Orchestra and Choir to fever pitch, and he is blessed with singers who stand up to the stiff competition on records. The multifariously talented

Overview

Orff's famous setting of medieval Latin poems has great energy and epic sweep. No wonder it's so popular. The brilliant young conductor Christian Thielemann whips up the German Opera Orchestra and Choir to fever pitch, and he is blessed with singers who stand up to the stiff competition on records. The multifariously talented baritone Simon Keenlyside strikes a philosophic note in "Omnia Sol temperat" (The Sun Warms Everything), and delivers the energetic tavern song, "Estuans interius" (Burning Inside) with Verdian panache. Tenor David Kuebler blithely soars through the stratospherically high ballad meant to be sung by a roasted swan. Thielemann digs into Orff's odd medieval-sounding effects, resulting in a highly characterful and dramatic interpretation. CARMINA BURANA is this up-and-coming young conductor's finest recording yet.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jim Svejda
The new Deutsche Grammophon recording of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is one of the first to mount a serious challenge to Eugen Jochum's pioneering recording from 1967 or André Previn's exciting and richly varied EMI version from 1975. Like Jochum, the young German conductor Christian Thielemann has the chorus and orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin at his disposal, and they sing and play splendidly, as they did for Jochum more than three decades earlier. Thielemann's soloists -- especially the English baritone Simon Keenlyside -- are among the most polished and individual of recent competitors, and the recording benefits enormously from state-of-the-art digital sound. If the performance has a serious drawback, it's one that is very much a matter of taste (an unusual word to use in connection with what has justifiably been called "music that a gland would write, if only it could"). Unlike Previn, who never tries to civilize Orff's music, Thielemann's interpretation is unusually suave and refined, very much the sort of performance one would have expected from the young maestro's hero, Herbert von Karajan. Still, for a "Carmina" with some of the grunts muffled and the bark removed, you can't do much better than this.
All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Since "Carmina Burana" is such a mainstay of the repertoire, it is difficult to think of any ensemble that has not performed it or of any major label that does not have multiple recordings to offer. Direct and sturdy, this popular cantata is almost indestructible and hard to misinterpret, though to make it sound fresh and distinctive is a challenge. Christian Thielemann's performance with the choir and orchestra of the Berlin Opera is certainly on par with the fine recordings of André Previn and Seiji Ozawa, and the recorded sound is as superb as Deutsche Grammophon's technology can make it. The bawdiness of the texts is sufficiently brought across, and the orchestra's brilliant effects are stunning. One feature that may give this recording an edge over others is its clarity. All the parts can be heard distinctly, and the variety of timbres gives this repetitive music some much-needed points of interest. Additionally, this lucid performance reveals Orff's influences more plainly than most. The rhythmic impulses of Stravinsky are obvious, but the subtler, post-Romantic colors of Richard Strauss are also evident, particularly in the soprano's aria "In trutina." For anyone stymied by the number of recordings available, this CD is a terrific choice.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/1999
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028945358727
catalogNumber:
453587
Rank:
117976

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra  - Carl Orff  -  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  - Nigel Boon  -  Deutschen Staatsopernchor Berlin  - Simon Keenlyside  - David Kuebler  - Christiane Oelze  - Hartmut Pfeiffer  - Stewart Spencer  - Christian Thielemann  -  Knabenchor Berlin  - Karl-Ludwig Hecht  - Helmut Sonne

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