This live recording of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana was made at the Southbank Centre's 2013 The Rest Is Noise Festival in London, a concert series celebrating critic Alex Ross' book The Rest Is Noise. Always a crowd-pleaser, Orff's secular cantata is full of rhythmic choruses, rollicking dances, and incantatory songs based on medieval texts, and it has become one of the most popular modern works in the choral repertoire. The performance by the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Hans Graf, is energetic and vivid, and the solos by soprano Sarah Tynan, tenor Andrew Kennedy, and baritone Rodion Pogossov are full of life and feeling. The single drawback to this recording is the sound level of the choir, which seems recessed too far behind the orchestra, which is usually much louder and more physically present than the voices. Most listeners enjoy Carmina Burana as a sonic showcase, and it really needs superior reproduction to impress. Unfortunately, the microphone placement seems inadequate to the concert setting, and the audio is uneven and only acceptable in the loudest sections, so frequent adjustments of the volume may be necessary.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson