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Orff: Carmina Burana / Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

Carl Orff , Igor Stravinsky , Leopold Stokowski , Houston Symphony , Berlin Philharmonic Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000002S5R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: O Fortuna
2. Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: Fortune Plango Vulnera
3. Primo Vere: Veris Leta Facis
4. Primo Vere: Omnia Sol Temperat
5. Primo Vere: Ecce Gratum
6. Auf Dem Anger: Tanz
7. Auf Dem Anger: Floret Silva Noblis
8. Auf Dem Anger: Chramber , Gip Die Varwe Mir
9. Auf Dem Anger: Reie
10. Auf Dem Anger: Wer Diu Werlt Alle Min
11. In Taberna: Estuans Interius
12. In Taberna: Olim Lacus Colueram
13. In Taberna: Ego Sum Abbas
14. In Taberna: In Taberna Quando Sumus
15. Cour d'Amor: Amor Volat Undique
16. Cours d'Amor: Dies, Nox Et Omnia
17. Cours d'Amor: Stetit Puella
18. Cours d'Amor: Circa Mea Pectora
19. Cours d'Amor: Si Peur Cum Puellula
20. Cours d'Amor: Veni, Neni, Venias
See all 31 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacing is Crucial August 16, 2001
Of all the recordings (and live performances) I have heard of the Carmina, this one flows the best. Conductors are always varying pace & tempo in this work, but Stowkowski got it just right. The harmonic coloring and gender-moods are also excellent. This is the one to own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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The excellent liner notes aptly recall how new to the American public Orff's Carmina Burana still was when this recording was made in 1958: its US premiere had taken place only four years earlier, in January 1954, in San Francisco (Stokowski giving the New York premiere at the end of the same year), and (although the composition dated from over 20 years back) the liner notes to the original LP referred to "this superb and stimulating new score by a contemporary master whose name is all but unknown on this side of the Atlantic".

Stokowski's Carmina Burana is generally a good one, its choral and orchestral parts usually conducted with great power and drive, and a fine sense of dance. "Chramer, gip die varwe mir" (Shopkeeper, give me color, track 8) is wonderfully and lovingly shaped, sounding like a soft and sweet lullaby, and the Mahler-Knaben Wunderhorn overtones of the ensuing number, "Reie", have never sounded so obvious. Stokowski is very theatrical in his conducting, sometimes too much so even - witness the wailing tone he demands of his baritone in "Dies, nox et omnia" (track 16) - not entirely out of situation ("Day night and everything is against me, the chattering of maidens makes me weep...") but pushed here to limits verging on campiness. The 1958 sound is also stupendous, full dimensional indeed, with overall more body, depth, presence than the classic Jochum from 10 years later (Orff: Carmina Burana) - although with some audible tape hiss in the softer passages(and some occasional rumbles of cars at a distance).

Yet there are a few significant drawbacks that prevent Stokowski's recording from belonging to the top drawer.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stokowski Finds What Many Don't September 11, 2007
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There's more than one reason that I don't give this recording 5 stars; the first being the Houston Symphony Chorale. It is a fine amateur group for the time, but they really don't have the sort of sound that would make this the grand performance it should be. "Carmina Burana" requires a super-chorus to be first class, and this sounds at best like a good college glee club. However, they do sing in tune most of the time and the accents are not Texan! The over all performance is one of real interest. Right from the opening where Stokowski cuts short the ends of the opening phrases in the chorus, you know the conductor is special. The Houston Symphony is actually in better form than is the Berlin Philharmonic, also on this recording; (more on that in a moment.) and is particularly fine and up to the task. For 1958 the original engineers manage a first class recording although the choice of mics, which is mentioned in the booklet, is a bit on the old side of the fence. There were newer mics available at that point, such as the Neumann M50 which would have given a much richer sound to the entire Houston recording. It is interesting that this is one of the first 3 track stereo recordings, and the remastering is excellent too. While not as lush as a version with a major chorus, this has plenty to offer, and the soloists are quite good. They were all local singers, although Guy Gardner went on to sing in Europe for some time. His Baritone voice may not be the ultimate for this staggering part, but then Clyde Hager and Verginia Babikian are quite fine in their tenor and soprano parts, respectively.

The "Firebird" of Stravinsky fills out the recording. There are some real problems from many fronts facing this piece in this incarnation. By itself it would get 3 stars at most.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orff performance is great! June 20, 2012
By Elliott
I long ago bought the Capitol record that was the original release of the Orff. It is a GREAT performance. Before my record died, I converted it to CD. It is still my favorite performance of Carmina Burana. I can not write about the Firebird recording, but I would recomment the Orff unreservedly.
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