🎻♫♪ – Carmina Burana by Anonymous

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
 5/501Title: Carmina Burana
Composer: Anonymous Composers
Nationality: Disputed – possibly German
 12th Century

Right, time for me to make an actual start on this list and (for the moment) I am going to be doing this in chronological order. I might go against this when suddenly faced with 10 Mozarts in a row – for now thought let’s go back as far as we can.

The version of Carmina Burana that I ended up listening to was (thanks hub) the Clemencic Consort version as recommended in the book. All 3 CDs of this are currently available on YouTube if you want to listen to something a little bit different.

I had this weird moment of contrast when I started listening to CD1 of this on the train to work. I was reading my next list comic (more on that in a few days) and having these Latin poems put to medieval music playing as I was reading a comic about a sentient scarecrow… well it was something that could only happen if you are following too many lists from the 1001 family.

I also had a weird moment as I was walking to work via Covent Garden and suddenly there was this flourish of bugles followed by chanting in Latin. Needless to say, this was a rather strange 4 hours of music.

Now, because of the way this was written (as in not using what we would now consider as standard notation) this was a real big body of work to bring to the modern day. So God only knows how René Clemencic actually took these works and found a way to bring them to life back in 1975.

This is gorgeously done and the sheer variety in the work is outstanding. Granted we are talking about a very large collection of songs from a number of origins (this copy discovered in Germany) so I guess that makes sense. Also, there were better songs than other – the best were either upbeat or remarkably dark/chanty.

Look – writing this I am aware how ill-equipped to talk classical music, but this is my reason for doing this. Hopefully by the time I get to the end of this endeavour I will be a lot wiser.


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