Notes and Editorial Reviews
Carl Orff's Prometheus completes his trilogy of Greek tragedies, the two earlier works being Oedipus the Tyrant and Antigone. This is the only one actually set in the original Greek (the other two use German translations), and it's good to have this impressive 1972 studio performance back in the catalog, as there isn't likely to be another--nor, frankly, do we need one. The work contains just as much dialog as music, and the latter is stripped to the bone: simple rhythms with lots of metallic percussion, mostly in short bursts. Even the singing, usually some form of syllabic chant, is very minimally accompanied. There's also plenty of action for wind and thunder machines, recreating what Orff took to be the story's primal ambiance. The cast
is excellent, led by Roland Hermann's tormented Prometheus. Josef Greindl as Kratos (Power) spits out the words with terrifying force, and as Io, Colette Lorand's shrieks will have your neighbors calling the police.
In short, this really is a piece for confirmed Orffnicks, but that doesn't lessen the impressiveness of Ferdinand Leitner's achievement in committing it to disc. The 1972 sonics have come up well in this transfer, save for a touch of distortion at the loudest climaxes. Arts Music provides an English-only version of the libretto in the accompanying booklet, which is useful since most people can't read Greek--and the only serious competition, Kubelik's equally fine 1975 live set on Orfeo with largely the same cast, isn't so generous. [6/13/2005]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Prometheus by Carl Orff
Roland Hermann (Baritone),
Josef Greindl (Bass),
Kieth Engen (Bass),
Raili Kostia (Alto),
Heinz Cramer (Bass),
Edda Moser (Soprano),
Sophia Van Sante (Mezzo Soprano),
Colette Lorand (Soprano),
Fritz Uhl (Tenor)
Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Date of Recording: 1972
Length: 127 Minutes 28 Secs.
Notes: This selection is sung in Classical Greek.
Be the first to review this title