C1750. KLAUS TENNSTEDT Cond. Cleveland Orchestra, w.Ruth Welting, Julian Patrick & Douglas Ahlstedt: CARMINA BURANA (Orff), Live Performance, 14 July, 1978, Blossom Festival. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-884. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"If I could only take one piece of music on a long trip, I might pick Carl Orff's CARMINA BURANA. Its 25 tracks offer something for everyone - and a piece of music for every mood imaginable.
The subject matter covered in CARMINA stays pretty basic: love, lust, the pleasures of drinking and the heightened moods evoked by springtime. These primitive and persistently relevant themes are nicely camouflaged by the Latin and old German texts, so the listener can actually feign ignorance while listening to virtually X-rated lyrics.
The music itself toggles between huge forces and a single voice, juxtaposing majesty and intimacy with ease. At its largest, CARMINA employs a chorus of 200 or more voices, an orchestra of 100 players and a children's choir of 50 or more, plus three soloists. The music's style is equally inclusive, ranging from simple chant to almost rock-inspired rhythmic sections. The opening and closing tracks, both titled ‘O Fortun’, mirror each other: They begin with all forces at full throttle, then immediately scale back in an ominous warning repetition that builds to a climactic close. Between these bookends lies music of many diverse styles, with a hypnotic repetitive element, an intense purity of the solo soprano and the children's choir, a raucous quality to the all-male sections, and a humor underlying the lewd nature of the lyrics (which sound so erudite in Latin), all combining to create an immediacy and accessibility not found in many works.
CARMINA BURANA has enjoyed popularity and longevity, in large part due to its remarkable crossover ability. That may not have been what Orff envisioned when he wrote CARMINA BURANA in 1936, but he did have much more than a straightforward musical experience in mind. He subtitled his exuberant hour-long oratorio ‘Cantiones profanae, cantoribus et choris cantandae, comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis’, or ‘Secular songs for singers and choruses accompanied by instruments and magical images’ - hardly typical concert fare.”
- Marin Alsop, 11 Nov., 2006
"Ruth Welting, a soprano who sang a wide variety of roles at the Metropolitan Opera between 1976 and 1994, was admired for the strong upper register that allowed her to play coloratura roles with an unusual fluidity. Among her specialties were the Queen of the Night, Olympia and Zerbinetta, all of which she sang at the Met. Zerbinetta was her debut role in 1976, as it had been at the Royal Opera in Covent Garden in 1975. She also gave notable performances as the Fairy Godmother in Massenet's CENDRILLON in Paris, Washington and San Francisco, and Marie in Donizetti's FILLE DU REGIMENT in Barcelona and Dallas.
Ms. Welting was born in Memphis in 1949 and studied voice privately with Daniel Ferro in New York, Luigi Ricci in Rome and Jeanne Reiss in Paris. In 1968 she was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and in 1970 she made her debut at the New York City Opera as Blonchen in Mozart's ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO. She was also praised for her City Opera performances as Zerbinetta and as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO."
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 Dec., 1999
"Julian Patrick, a versatile singer, had a prolific fifty-year career singing concerts, musicals, cabaret, and opera, and towards the end of his life teaching. He made his debut in 1954 in Jerome Moross' THE GOLDEN APPLE. Patrick was in the original companies of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, ZIEGFELD FOLLIES, BELLS ARE RINGING, and FIORELLO. He revisited the musical stage often in his career for roles in works like 1776, SWEENEY TODD, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, and SOUTH PACIFIC. In the mid-1960s, Patrick returned to opera as a principal of the Metropolitan Opera National Company (Figaro in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE and the Count in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, among others) and toured the nation for two years; after it's demise, in 1967, he joined New York City Opera, making his debut in Douglas Moore's CARRIE NATION the next year. Patrick sang in world premieres at City Opera of THE TEMPEST by Lee Hoiby, NINE RIVERS FROM JORDAN by Hugo Weisgall, and Leonard Bernstein's TROUBLE IN TAHITI. Mr. Patrick's most prominent work in contemporary American opera was with Carlisle Floyd in OF MICE AND MEN in which Patrick sang the role of George in the world premiere. Patrick performed eighteen roles in nearly thirty productions with Seattle Opera. He also sang Alberich at the Metropolitan Opera on several occasions.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 31 May, 2009
“Douglas Ahlstedt has sung professionally in the world's greatest opera houses and concert halls, from the renowned stages of Europe, South America, the Far East, and Africa, to the Metropolitan Opera, where he has sung 189 performances.
Douglas Ahlstedt's singing career began with the American Boys' Choir with whom he toured the United States and Canada. During that period, he sang the role of Miles in the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's THE TURN OF THE SCREW.”
- CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY