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Orff, Carl: Carmina Burana (CD) DG 1999

Orff: Carmina Burana (CD & SACD)


Click here to download a video clip of SK singing ‘Estuans Interius’ from Carmina Burana

The clip was a trailer for this recording and features Simon entertaining commuters on a train by singing “Estuans Interius”! Look out for the conductor (of the orchestra, not the train), Christian Thielemann, who makes an appearance looking out of the train window.

Composer Carl Orff
Conductor Christian Thielemann
Christaine Oelze
David Kuebler
Simon Keenlyside
Berlin Children’s Choir
Choir and Orchestra of the Deutschen Oper Berlin
Label Deutsche Grammophon
Code 289 453 587-2
Released June 7, 1999
Number of discs 1

What the critics say

Opera News, December 1999

“…Things do pick up considerably with Simon Keenlyside’s robust, well-characterized rendering of “Estuans interius,” which opens the “In taverna” section. He also provides a sweet and soulful rendering of “Omnia Sol temerat,” his first solo. In addition, Christiane Oelze sings with a loveliness that is both pure and full-bodied, and tenor David Kuebler brings vibrant comic suffering to the fiendishly high “roasting swan” song.

George Hall, BBC Music Magazine

Performance: 5 out of 5 stars
Sound: 4 out of 5 stars

For those wary of the more raucous aspects of Orff’s scenic cantata in many of its recorded manifestations, this new account might provide the answer. With a discography currently focusing on the high-minded German repertoire of Beethoven, Wagner, Schumann, Strauss and Pfitzner, Christian Thielemann here shifts to what some see as music’s equivalent to the Munich Beer Festival. Though this might seem an odd move, his approach remains considered and his interpretative skills meticulous, his careful observation of accents, dynamics and other niceties whose presence one had scarcely expected in the piece paying rich dividends.

Top quality soloists, too, with Simon Keenlyside’s baritonal interventions regularly things of wonder in terms of the sheer beauty and power of tone, and expressive of the text too. David Kuebler sounds exactly right in the strangulated tessitura Orff asks of his tenor to depict the roasted swan, and Christiane Oelze’s clear, true tone and unaffected delivery enhances the soprano music.

Precision and rich sonority mark the playing of the Orchestra of Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, and if the singing of the company’s chorus is a good deal more polite than one sometimes hears in the work it’s a fault on the right side. Full and resonant sound, with plenty of perspective.

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