- Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra
Orff: Carmina Buranaby Donald Runnicles
With lusty choruses and colorful orchestration, Carmina Burana is an audiophile's dream. No wonder so many record companies turn to Carl Orff's cantata when they want to show off their engineering prowess. This Telarc version has clarity, spaciousness, and a punch that will put your sound system to the test. But it's not just sonic sensationalism; the performance is terrific, too. The late Robert Shaw turned the Atlanta Symphony Chorus into one of the best vocal ensembles in the country, and if this recording is any indication, it is still in tip-top shape. Donald Runnicles (who became the Atlanta Symphony's principal guest conductor in 2001), brings his long experience in the world's greatest opera houses to fashion a vividly dramatic interpretation whose dancing rhythms, powerful accents, and graceful lyricism make this familiar score seem remarkably fresh. As for the soloists, tenor Stanford Olsen is outstanding in the macabre "Olim lacus colueram" section, and soprano Hei-Kyung Hong manages the stratospheric "Dulcissime" with virtually no sign of strain. Baritone Earle Patriarco has a robust, well-focused voice that is nicely suited to this earthy music, though admittedly he is not quite as memorable as Thomas Allen in André Previn's classic version (EMI). Still, Fortune must have been smiling when this recording was made. It's a winner on all counts.
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Performance CreditsDonald Runnicles Primary Artist
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