Carl Orff - Carmina Burana

"Everything I have written until now, and which unfortunately you have printed, can be destroyed. My collected works begin with Carmina Burana", Carl Orff said to his publisher in 1937 after a very successful premiere.

By Thü, April 2018


Carl Orff
Carmina Burana

Franz Welser-Möst
The London Philharmonic
Barbara Hendricks
44,1kHz/16bit CD
Warner Classics

Carmina Burana's striking contrast from piano to immediate fortissimo and the modern, percussive orchestration in a medieval musical style has always fascinated the audience. I do not often listen to works that include singing because I am a rather instrument oriented person, but Carmina Burana is a nice exception. The presence of a choir and singers means an even greater challenge for the engineer than that which a big orchestra alone already poses. I had owned a Seiji Ozawa record with the Berliner Philharmoniker for a long time without being very critical about the audio quality. But in fact, it was not so easy to find a better recording. The Telarc/Shaw and the Chandos/Hickox recordings are way too dull and the Warner/Rattle has a strangely exaggerated percussion. The Philips/Ozawa did hold up well against all the others presented here, until I found the Warner recording with Franz Welser-Möst which is clearly a step up even against those which are of a higher resolution.

The records I compared:

Uncompressed WAV in original kHz and bit-depth of the records, peak normalized *

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