Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
Carmina Burana (Sony Classical)
Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (1937) has become one of the most familiar classical compositions from the modern era. The workout it provides for choral groups may be one reason for its popularity on concert stages, but another may be the unanticipated affinity of its savage rhythms with rock. The percussive power is loud and center in a new recording under conductor Kristjan Jarvi. The performance by orchestra, adult chorus and children’s choir underscores the composition’s hard bones, which unlike most classical music (but like most rock) undergoes no structural development. Within its contrasts of tension and release, Carmina is simply a propulsive, anvil chorus. It rocks.