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Nov. 12 2011

Delicious Terror

By Kati Harrison | Posted in Vocalise | No Comments

My mother’s favorite recording of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana is the 1960 performance with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She fancies tenor Rudolf Petrak’s roasting swan.

As a five year old this album cover elicited delicious terror in me and so did the music! As it played, I studied the cover shivering at the thought of what ever seemed to be going on. I had no clue. My mother never spoke of roasting swans or of debauchery. She did try to explain that this contemporary piece of music was based on medieval poems written by the Goliard poets who wandered the countryside singing, writing and entertaining for food. I knew she was hiding something and that I would have to grow up before I could learn what all of this gruesomeness was all about.

Lo and behold, my mother was right even though she left some things out of her explanation that would not have been appropriate for a five year old. As an adult, I am less terrified but still riveted by the music and always curious to hear other recordings of Carmina Burana. Tonight we’re in for a treat with a 2007 performance featuring Marin Alsop, she really rocks 20th century music, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

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Kati Harrison

About

Kati is WBJC's Operations Director and weekend host. Her full bio can be read here.

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