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 orchestration in a medieval musical style has always fascinated the audience. For me, it is also one of the works I like to try out on speakers to hear how well they are performing. . Until recently I was content with the Philips version I had owned for a long time (Seiji Ozawa with the Berliner Philharmoniker). But after my encounter with Denon's Bruckner records, I thought there must be a better rendition of Carmina Burana too, and I started comparing. The Telarc / Robert Shaw and the Chandos / Richard Hickox recordings are way too dull and the Warner / Simon Rattle has a strangely exaggerated percussion. The Philips / Seiji 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*