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Faure songs
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Carl ORFF (1895-1982)
Catulli Carmina (1943)
Donald Grobe (tenor) – Catallus
Ruth-Margaret Pütz (soprano) - Lesbia
Trionfo di Afrodite (1950-51)
Enriqueta Tarrés (soprano) – Sposa
Donald Grobe (tenor) – Sposo
Hans Günter Nöcker (bass) – Corifeo
Brigitte Dürrler (soprano) – Corifea
Horst R Laubenthal (tenor) – Corifeo
Cologne Radio Choir
Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner
Recorded Cologne, 1974
ARTS ARCHIVES 43002-2 [75.00]

 

Orff explored the poetry of Catullus and Sappho in these two parts of his Trionfi, of which the first part was Carmina Burana. It was the Roman setting of Catulli Carmina that led him to delve further and a reading of Sophocles crystallised the ambition to set the poems and fragments of Sappho. The results here are overwhelmingly authoritative, not solely inasmuch as they have the composer’s imprimatur, but rather because they sound so fresh and idiomatic. Though I ought to say at the outset that those, like Churchill and Shakespeare, blessed with little Greek or Latin are going to find this release something of a catastrophe – there are no texts and summaries are no substitute. We need to see how Orff adapted his musical expression to the very particular demands that these very different poetic traditions embody.

That said, and it’s a big caveat, we can still admire the dramatic unity Orff evokes, the sense of interjectory and conversational ellipsis, and those moments of poignant unaccompanied recitation that add so much of a sense of intimacy to the scores, especially the Catullus. The Chants – sample Vivamus mea Lesbia – are brisk and fluent, the chorus sounding notably well drilled and we also get the chance to listen the women of the Cologne Radio Choir in their velvet soft Jucundum mea vite. The scoring is correspondingly light – solo pianos and percussion.

Trionfo di Afrodite followed in 1950-51. Full of ostinati and melismas this is scored for fuller orchestral forces and generates its effect through a kind of hypnotic oscillatory repetition. The melismas soar ever upwards (Sposa e Sposo, Part III) and the choir and soloists cope heroically with the sometimes ungrateful writing; throughout in fact the soloists and especially Leitner are tremendously involved and involving. The restoration sounds first class.

Jonathan Woolf

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana (1935-36) Ruth-Margaret Pütz (soprano) Michael Cousins (tenor) Barry McDaniel (baritone) Roland Hermann (bass) Cologne Radio Choir Tölzer Childrens Choir Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner Recorded by West German Radio, Cologne, 1973 ARTS 43001-2 [60.29][JW]

One can see why this ceded ground to the Jochum but it does have attractions of its own ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Catulli Carmina (1943) Donald Grobe (tenor) – Catallus Ruth-Margaret Pütz (soprano) - Lesbia Trionfo di Afrodite (1950-51) Enriqueta Tarrés (soprano) – Sposa Donald Grobe (tenor) – Sposo Hans Günter Nöcker (bass) – Corifeo Brigitte Dürrler (soprano) – Corifea Horst R Laubenthal (tenor) – Corifeo Cologne Radio Choir Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner Recorded Cologne, 1974 ARTS ARCHIVES 43002-2 [75.00] [JW]

Tremendously involved and involving. The restoration sounds first class. ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Orpheus – free adaptation of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1923) Carl Orff (speaker) Hermann Prey (bass baritone) – Orpheus Lucia Popp (soprano) – Eurydice Rose Wagemann (mezzo soprano) – Die Botin Karl Ridderbusch (bass) – Der Wächter der Toten Choir of Bavarian Radio Munich Radio Orchestra/Kurt Eichhorn Recorded Munich, 1972 ARTS ARCHIVES 43003-2 [66.07] [JW]

A curio that will be of most interest to devotees of the development of Orff’s vocal and theatrical powers. ... see Full Review

 



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