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Orff: Carmina Burana

72 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 14, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Yes, here it is folks--that irritatingly catchy chorus you first heard in the film Excalibur, or as the background music to the HBO Boxing Specials, and in zillions of other places. What it's not is the music from The Omen, which it clearly inspired. All pieces of music that feature choruses chanting in Latin are not the same (in fact, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms is much closer to The Omen than this). Orff actually wrote a lot more music, but here's a case where his reputation as a "one work" composer really is justified, for nothing else comes close in musical or popular appeal. This performance was authorized by the composer himself, and that's recommendation enough. --David Hurwitz

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Orchestra of the German Opera
  • Conductor: Eugen Jochum
  • Composer: Carl Orff
  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GQP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,471 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Lipscomb on May 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I first heard Carmina Burana in a college production back in Spring of 1965 (end of my freshman year). Like virtually everybody who hears it for the first time, I was immediately taken with Orff's secular cantata and bought Jochum's FIRST recording on Decca LP (that was a mono recording from the early 1950's - this DG stereo account didn't come along until 1967). When THIS recording came out, I bought the DG LP and discarded the Decca: the sonics were MUCH better on the re-make, and the performance sounded more fully realized.

Since then, I have seen two other stagings of Carmina Burana and heard some of the other recordings (Muti, Ozawa, Previn, etc.), but my loyalties remain with this one. Sure, the stereo sound is a little dated (a slight cut in treble smooths out the edgy highs - all in all, this CD is sonically a considerable improvement on the original LP). The recording was supervised by Orff himself, Jochum's conducting is rhythmically vigorous and exhilarating, and the soloists all sound just great to me (not perfect, but great is good enough). I still think Janowitz does the "In trutina" more appealingly than anybody else I've heard. The only other recording I have kept is the Stokowski (EMI), but that's mainly because of the coupling: "A Pagan Poem" by Charles Loeffler, a beautiful work that deserves to be better known. To my taste, the Jochum recording is preferable to Stokowski's Carmina Burana.

I don't think you can go wrong in buying this one.

Highly recommended.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This recording is far and away the best performance of Carmina Burana. The mood and feeling of each poem are incredible in their power. Both takes of "O Fortuna" are more threatening and potent than any other I have ever heard. "Fortune plango vulnera" ties with the second version of "O Fortuna" as my favorite song and "In taberna quando sumus" is a close third. are Jochum has truly recorded THE definitive Carmina Burana.
There are some very minor downsides to the recording. Occasionaly, a page turn can be heard, but I believe this only adds to the vitality of the perfomance. My one real quibble is Janowitz. The Amazon editorial review is largely correct - in Dulcissime, she sounds rather strained. It doesn't bother me as it does some people, possibly because I'm not a singer. However, Dulcissime a :34 song, and given the true brilliance of this recording, it can be easily overlooked.
Some VERY minor quibbles I have with the recording: - first, there seems to be some controversy over the spelling of the town and monestary from where the Latin text is supposed to have originated. Most liner notes translate "Carmina Burana" as "Songs from Benediktbeuren", including this version. However, some people hold that "Burana" refers to Benediktbeurn rather than -beuren, which is a more common German ending. A small difference, to be sure. Also, there are some errors in the Latin text (the full original text in Latin and sometimes German is provided, with running English translations). The earlies example is in "Fortune plango vulnera", in the third stanza, where the Latin reads "nam sub axe legimus/Hecubam reginam.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By The road forever on September 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After spending about a year in places where there isn't a single performance of Carmina Burana to be found (yes, there are still some left here on Earth) I decided that this indeed was an opportune time to find the one ultimate performance of the piece that fits me best. I was coming into selection process completely fresh, remembering from my previous Levine version nothing but the fact that way back then I really liked it. So I took 12 versions of Carmina Burana, and started comparing them side by side, in three stages, being aware that the first one I'd listen to would have a better chance to influence my judgment. Among versions I had in front of me were Muti's, my old Levine, Fruhbeck de Burgos's, two Jochum's, couple of lesser known ones from former Czechoslovakia, Shaw's, and three more that I just don't remember. I wish I also had Previn's since from skimming through reviews it appears to be of some significance but I didn't.

After "the first round" I had three to chose from: Dutoit's, Dorati's and this - so called, the Jochum/Fischer-Dieskau one. After the second round I put Dutoit aside and was facing with what in my opinion amounted to a very difficult choice. On one hand I had Dorati: a more conventional performance but of incredible energy. The baritone in Estuans interius was right on the button. Soprano performed beautifully and tenor was good too. In "O Fortuna" Dorati kept Royal Philharmonic at "reckless abandon" and I felt as though I was back on the Death Road in a convertible but going at least 120km/hour. I called this Dorati's version, "the fast one".

Then there was this, Jochum/Fischer-Dieskau's, and what I called "the spooky version" based on the tightly "horror-moviesque" whispering element in the work's famous beginning.
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Orff: Carmina Burana
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