Sing when you’re winning
To Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Sunday the 3rd, for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (y’know, the one from which the first movement is used… everywhere). I had seen strange but very good flamenco performance based around it before, but this was my first time seeing/hearing it actually sung.
The novel thing about this one was that, if you wanted, you could by a slightly more expensive ticket and actually sing yourself. That’s a lovely idea, I think. I didn’t of course, but I could have done (one bad voice would have been drowned out amongst the hundreds a-singing, I’m sure).
‘Twas the CBSO providing the instrumentation, anyway, with singing by the combined choral ranks of the CBSO chorus and CBSO youth chorus, a school choir from somewhere (I have no idea where, they were unannounced), and the assembled massive of volunteer singists. What to say about something as familiar as Carmina Burana? It took the breath away as much as one would expect, varying as it does between ‘fun and playful’ and ‘easily some of the most dramatic music ever composed’. Pretty much the only surprise was the way that the large number of younger voices produced a timbral difference when compared to the recorded versions one usually hears, but you don’t really go to hear something like this expecting massive variations.
An experience and a half. All that was missing was a dribbly horse, really.