Notes and Editorial Reviews
Rupert Huber, cond; SWR Voc Ens Stuttgart; Children’s Ch of the Stuttgart St Op; Lenneke Ruiten (s); Christoph Genz (ten); Stephan Genz (bar); GrauSchumacher Pn Duo; Perc Ens
HÄNSSLER CD 93.280 (59:55
Text and Translation)
This is the sixth CD version of Carl Orff’s reduction of his cantata for piano duo and percussion ensemble. The most recent version, Johannes Stecker’s on Gramola (
is the only one that won favor over the many recordings of the original scoring. The arrangement is useful for schools, but there seems to be no point in buying a recording of it when the complete original scoring is just as readily available. Even so, this new version has some talking points. The chorus gives as good a performance as I have ever heard, and the children’s chorus has the focused sound of the better boys’ choirs. Christoph Genz is better than most tenors who have recorded the part; not a countertenor, nor does he slip into falsetto, he forces the hard tones of his upper range just as “Olim lacus colueram” calls for. The baritone is less fortunate, frequently lacking in accurate pitches. The soprano matches most of her competition in a part that is grateful to any competent singer. This is strong competition to Stecker, who uses a countertenor soloist. The sound is splendid.
Altogether, this performance ranks with the better recordings except in the important element of the orchestral scoring. For that, one must turn to Seiji Ozawa on Philips (13:2), Charles Dutoit on Decca (21:4), or Donald Runnicles on Telarc (25:4).
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Carmina burana by Carl Orff
SWR Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1936; Germany
Notes: Version for soloists, mixed choir, children's choir, 2 pianos and 6 percussionists arranged by Wilhelm Killmayer.
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