Notes and Editorial Reviews
Carmina Burana, is the name given to a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century, although some are from the 13th century. The pieces were written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces of Old French or Provençal. Many are macaronic, a mixture of Latin and German or French vernacular. They were written by students and clergy when the Latin idiom was the lingua franca across Italy and western Europe for travelling scholars, universities and theologians.
R E V I E W S:
Buyers should note this is not the Carl Orff Carmina Burana, but the collection of medieval pieces that inspired Orff; to call it a "medieval version,"
as the packaging here does, implies a closer relationship than that which actually exists. The Carmina Burana are named for a manuscript at the Benediktbeuern abbey in Germany, where some of the medieval songs were found; the title means "songs of Beuern." Orff set the texts of some of these songs in his famed choral work. The texts here, mixing Latin and Old French (sometimes in the same song), may be familiar, and their mixture of sexy fun and gloomy philosophy actually comes through better in these settings than in Orff's; here they lack the monumental choral distraction. The performances by France's Ensemble Obsidienne, with singers accompanied by a rotating small ensemble of medieval wind instruments, are especially lively, with a drinking song like In taberna quando sumus (track 4) given a bit of the rollicking humor that gets lost in Orff's settings. The performances are cleanly done, enthusiastic, and recommended for anyone interested in the Carmina Burana and where they came from.
-- James Manheim, All Music Guide
Works on This Recording
Carmina burana by Anonymous
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