Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
One of his generation's most distinguished conductors in both operatic and symphonic repertoire, Donald Runnicles is in his inaugural season as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's new Principal Guest Conductor, forming a unique creative partnership with new Music Director Robert Spano.
For his Telarc debut recording with the ASO, Runnicles leads the Orchestra and Chorus in a dramatic new performance of Carl Orff's popular concert work, Carmina burana. Joining the ASO in this powerful new recording are Hei-Kyung Hong, soprano; Stanford Olsen, tenor; Earle Patriarco, baritone; and the Gwinnett Young Singers.
This is the second recording of this large-scale work for chorus and orchestra that Telarc has made with the ASO (the late Robert Shaw conducted the previous release). Telarc returned to this particular work with the ASO forces in order to continue building its multi-channel surround sound catalog in the new Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) format. With the expanded dynamic range available in the new high-resolution recording technology, the theatrical elements of Orff's orchestrations and vocal settings are communicated with stunning immediacy and excitement.
Carmina burana is one of the twentieth century's most widely performed works for chorus and orchestra. Premiered in 1937 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, Carmina burana combines archaic poetry, simple, folk-like melodies, and motoric, primal rhythms to create images of the eternal springtime of the human soul. The poetry is taken from a collection of earthy thirteenth-century songs, written by students and vagrant clerics, and discovered in 1803 at the Benedictine monastery of Beuren in Bavaria. In 1847, J.A. Schmeller edited and published a number of the songs under the title Carmina burana ("Songs of Beuren"). From this collection, Orff selected the songs for his secular cantata, setting the poetry to his own original music.
The poems from Carmina burana are in two languages, described by one scholar as "distorted medieval Latin and Middle High German." For this recording, the choruses and soloists have endeavored to perform the lyrics as closely as possible to the way their thirteenth-century authors would have pronounced them. Diction coach Jeffrey W. Baxter was aided by the expert guidance of Professor John Austin of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
In addition to his post with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles continues as Music Director of the San Francisco Opera, and he was recently appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York. During the 2001-2002 season with the ASO, he will conduct the Britten War Requiem with the ASO Chorus in March; Act III of Wagner's Die Walkure with Christine Brewer and James Morris in April; and a program of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky in May.