Orff: Carmina Burana

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Benjamin Ivry
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Benjamin Ivry
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.
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.

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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/1999
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028945358727
  • Catalog Number: 453587
  • Sales rank: 80,728

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–25 Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra - Carl Orff & Berlin State Opera Orchestra (62:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Christian Thielemann Primary Artist
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Serious Contender for the Baton of Carmina Burana

    Christian Thielemann has the equivalent of an architect's mind blended into the vision of a musician. His concept of the ever-popular CARMINA BURANA may not knock the socks off your sound system, may not hit the raucous highs of other recordings that strive for dramatic and lusty effect, but as for the work rethought as a cantata, this version is among the best. Thielemann has his huge forces (Orchestra and Choir of the Berlin Opera, Knabenchor Berlin, soloists Christiane Oelze, Simon Keenlyside and David Kuebler) in meticulous control and that is not to say he doesn't allow the passion inherent in this work to flow. Quite the opposite, he pays attention to the gentler moments of each section so that the outbursts become more impactful. Oelze, Keenlyside and Kuebler are just about as fine a group of soloists as could be gathered for this work and they each perform with great beauty and style. The chorus proves its reputation as one of the finest opera choruses with crystal clear enunciation and unity of sound. Clearly this recording of a chestnut is one that will open the eyes of even the most critical audiences who have their own favorite versions of Carmina Burana. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

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