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Orff: Carmina Burana / Blomstedt, Dawson, Daniecki, Mcmillan

Release Date: 10/11/1991 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 430509   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Orff
Performer:  Lynne DawsonJohn DanieckiKevin McMillan
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony OrchestraSan Francisco Symphony ChorusSan Francisco Girls Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Having already provided distinguished Decca recordings of the symphonies of Nielsen and Sibelius, Herbert Blomstedt and his San Francisco orchestra now turn to Orff's sexily hedonistic cantata with comparable success. I have a very soft spot for Previn's oft-praised 1975 EMI recording, a swaggeringly genial account, with a wonderfully spirited contribution from the youthful trebles who obviously relish the sentient imagery, Ozawa's Boston digital version on Philips also offers much to stimulate, but Blomstedt is impressively powerful and imaginatively volatile and has three fine West Coast choral groups and an outstanding trio of soloists. Lynne Dawson's portrayal of "There stood a girl in a red tunic" is delightfully fresh and Read more simple—it has an engaging innocence and naturalness; yet her moment of submission at the end of the "Cours d'amours" sequence is ravishingly compliant, the soaringly open tone conveying a lack of inhibition, and the vocal control quite firm. It leads splendidly into the exhilarating choral celebration of passion, "Oh! Oh! Oh! I am bursting out all over!" (which both Previn and Ozawa also present very infectiously).

Memorable, too, is the tenor, John Daniecki's striking assumption of the role of the roasted swan. It is almost as if there were two singers. He colours his voice quite differently in the first verse (when the poor creature reminisces), and makes the vibrant change at the moment of being turned on the spit to be served up on a plate. (It's enough to make vegetarians of us all!) The baritone, Kevin McMillan, is a splendid Abbot, richly unctuous, then bemoaning his fate histrionically at the close. His later solo (track 18) is full of lustful yearning, and urged on by the spontaneous enthusiasm of the chorus one feels his proposed seduction cannot fail.

At the very opening the spectacular concert-hall balance of the Decca recording, with the orchestral percussion telling splendidly, immediately grips the listener. And the sotto voce passage which follows shows that Blomstedt is seeking to maximize contrasts, while later there are countless instances of his fine ear for detail. Yet there are plentiful explosions of passionate energy throughout, both vocal and instrumental. The sparkling orchestral dance (track 6) sets the scene admirably for the charming choral celebration of the burgeoning of spring, where the gently sustained soprano line is beautifully supple and lyrically sensuous. Later, in the tavern scene, the male chorus (well laced with percussion) are joyously ebullient, and when they catalogue the long list of drinkers present, Blomstedt's accelerando brings the most excitingly precise articulation against lifted rhythms. The great "Ave, formosissima" at the close has never sounded more grand and spacious. Here the Decca sound is wonderfully rich, punctuated with superb (though not exaggerated) thwacks on the bass drum.

This is the finest digital recording yet of Orff's splendid celebration of the joys of the springtime fecundity, with more than a little help from the grape harvest of previous years.

-- Gramophone [12/1991]
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Works on This Recording

1. Carmina burana by Carl Orff
Performer:  Lynne Dawson (Soprano), John Daniecki (Tenor), Kevin McMillan (Baritone)
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Germany 

Sound Samples

Carmina Burana - Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: "O Fortuna"
Carmina Burana - Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: "Fortune plango vulnera"
Carmina Burana - 1. Primo vere: "Veris leta facies"
Carmina Burana - 1. Primo vere: "Omnia Sol temperat"
Carmina Burana - 1. Primo vere: "Ecce gratum"
Carmina Burana - Uf dem Anger: Dance
Carmina Burana - Uf dem Anger: "Floret silva nobilis"
Carmina Burana - Uf dem Anger: "Chramer, gip die varwe mir"
Carmina Burana - Uf dem Anger: "Swaz hie gat umbe" - "Chume, chum geselle min"
Carmina Burana - Uf dem Anger: "Were diu werlt alle min"
Carmina Burana - 2. In Taberna: "Estuans interius"
Carmina Burana - 2. In Taberna: "Olim lacus colueram"
Carmina Burana - 2. In Taberna: "Ego sum abbas"
Carmina Burana - 2. In Taberna: "In taberna quando sumus"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Amor volat undique"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Dies, nox et omnia"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Stetit puella"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Circa mea pectora"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Si puer cum puellula"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Veni, veni, venias"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "In trutina"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Tempus est iocundum"
Carmina Burana - 3. Cour d'amours: "Dulcissime"
Carmina Burana - Blanziflor et Helena: "Ave formosissima"
Carmina Burana - Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: "O Fortuna"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Carmina a Bust September 21, 2012 By Ed C. (Oklahoma City, OK) See All My Reviews "I have several copies of Carmina Burana and this is the most disappointing that I own. In my opinion, this is a huge work and even in the quieter moments in the score, it should still be a huge 'quiet' sound. This recording is dull and not exciting to listen to at all. I found the chorus on this recording lacking. It almost seemed to me that they were just going through the motions of making a recording and not performing a major work with chorus, soloists, and orchestra. I also feel that the soloists were weak and to me, barely acceptable. I must also say that I have recordings and hear the San Francisco Symphony on the radio often. This is one of the worst recordings that they have put out. If you are a beginning collector or just being inroduced to Carmina Burana, run fast away from this recording. Carmina is exciting to listen to. This CD is about as exciting as watching grass grow." Report Abuse
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