Tuesday, February 10, 2009

carmina burana

carmina burana is a fantastically powerful piece of music for a full orchestra and chorus, composed by carl orff in 1935 and 1936. you hear the last movement often in dramatic cinematic scenes, as you might recognize from this video clip:

as a teenager, i sang in the cincinnati may festival youth chorus for a few years. one year, we were lucky enough to learn this entire piece and perform at the gorgeous music hall with the adult chorus and the full cincinnati symphony orchestra! what a thrilling experience!

the video above shows that exact chorus and orchestra performing the memorable movement in 2000, just a few years after i left the group! the director, james conlon, was an intimidating man to a high school student. we were able to rehearse with the adult choir several times before we performed the piece on stage. i sat among the sopranos, continuously amazed by the powerful vibration of their collective voices. most of the rehearsals were directed by the adult choir conductor, but i distinctly remember the first rehearsal with mr. conlon.

during a quiet moment is the rehearsal, when mr. conlon was explaining an important point, my watch started beeping to tell the hour - completely mortifying my fragile young self after it took me a couple seconds to realize i was the cause of the terrible sounds!! oh NO! he stopped cold. he turned to me furiously, pointed directly at me with his director's wand, and declared that such a scene should never interrupt him again! *gasp* ... yes, sir. sorry, sir.

needless to say, i never wore that silly watch to rehearsal again, and still have nasty flashbacks sometimes when i hear cell phones ringing at inopportune times. in fact, seeing him in the above video reminded me of the incident (obviously) just after i remembered the thrill of actually performing carmina burana on stage!

anyway, the thing that reminded me of all these events, was this little video of alternative lyrics to carmina burana, that i just found on neat-o-rama. this made me cry from laughing! enjoy!


Astron said...

Yeah, Carmina Burana is definitely great composition.
anyway, I have listened all other works of Carl Orf and these don't seem to be great. No impression.

Is there any other work of Carl Orf you like?

Meridian13113 said...

Conlon is an ass. He has a habit of being overly dramatic when something little manages to irritate his massive ego.

Don't have flashbacks about it. He's not worth the trouble.

-- a member of the MFC chorus