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Orff: Carmina Burana / Andre Previn


Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 31802   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Carl Orff
Performer:  Thomas AllenSheila ArmstrongGerald English
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraLondon Symphony ChorusSt Clement Danes School Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  1 Hours  3 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This has deservedly achieved classic status. It’s fresh and youthful and in excellent sound.

I remember that there was quite a stir when this recording arrived more than 35 years ago. In those days my LP collection was still fairly modest and I generally fought shy of acquiring multiple versions of larger works. I had first bought the Herbert Kegel recording on a Heliodor budget LP almost a decade earlier. Incidentally it came my way for review a couple of years ago and I was surprised that it had stood the test of time fairly well. But my standard version soon became Eugen Jochum on DG, recorded under the supervision of the composer and thus, I imagined, as close to the origins as was imaginable. When in the eighties I
Read more upgraded to CD, this was one of my earlier buys and I still regard it as the library version.

But the Previn tickled my curiosity and it was with great anticipation I opened the jewel box. I happened to listen through headphones on a portable CD player and the first tutti with the bass drum fff was riveting. I replayed it later on my permanent equipment and it made the same strong impression. Sonically this recording is still marvellous. This is not to say that the Jochum is markedly inferior. It is a bit drier, which is not unbecoming with this particular work. Chorus and orchestra are outstanding – Arthur Oldham is the chorus-master – and there is vitality and rhythmic swagger throughout the performance – attributable, not least, to Previn’s background as jazz musician. Just listen to the dance that opens Uf dem Anger (tr. 6). It’s certainly infectious. And another highlight is the swinging Veni, veni, venias (tr. 20).

The boys’ choir sing like angels and in In Taberna the male chorus is strong and virile. Among the soloists the young Thomas Allen is superb. A restrained and beautiful Omnia Sol temperat (tr. 4) and a glorious Estuans interius (tr. 11) are especially impressive. Gerald English is a pitiable swan and Sheila Armstrong sings the soprano part well, though she can’t quite challenge Gundula Janowitz on the Jochum recording. She manages the high-lying moments, in particular Dulcissime, with less effort and serene beauty.

Previn’s recording has deservedly achieved classic status. It’s fresh and youthful and in excellent sound. Jochum is also superb and he has marginally even better soloists – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is marvellous even though Allen runs him close – and the imprimatur of the composer’s presence gives it special status. I think it is right to say that Jochum is more German whereas Previn, in spite of being born in Berlin, has a more international outlook. It’s a matter of tradition versus renovation. Even though there may be many readers who are fully satisfied with just one version of this modern masterpiece, I would suggest that they try this one as a complement.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Carmina burana by Carl Orff
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone), Sheila Armstrong (Soprano), Gerald English (Tenor)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  St Clement Danes School Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 

Sound Samples

Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: No. 1 - O Fortuna
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: No. 2 - Fortune plango vulnera
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), I - Primo vere: No. 3 - Veris Ieta facies
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), I - Primo vere: No. 4 - Omnia Sol temperat
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), I - Primo vere: No. 5 - Ecce gratum
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Uf dem Anger: No. 6 - Tanz
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Uf dem Anger: No. 7 - Floret silva
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Uf dem Anger: No. 8 - Chramer, gip die varwe mir
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Uf dem Anger: No. 9 - Reie - Swaz hie gat umbe - Chume, chum, geselle min - Swaz hie gat umbe
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Uf dem Anger: No. 10 - Were diu werlt alle min
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), II - In taberna: No. 11 - Estuans interius
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), II - In taberna: No. 12 - Olim lacus colueram
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), II - In taberna: No. 13 - Ego sum abbas
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), II - In taberna: No. 14 - In taberna quando sumus
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No.15 - Amor volat undique
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 16 - Dies, nox et omnia
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 17 - Stetit puella
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 18 - Circa mea pectora
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 19 - Si puer cum puellula
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 20 - Veni, veni, venias
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 21 - In trutina
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 22 - Tempus est iocundum
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), III - Cours d'amour: No. 23 - Dulcissime
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Blanziflor et Helena: No. 24 - Ave formosissima
Carmina Burana - Cantiones profanae (1997 Digital Remaster), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: No. 25 - O Fortuna

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