Working on Carmina Burana

Great rehearsal last night. I think we’re starting to see how to access Carmina. It’s a difficult piece to rehearse because the bulk of the work needs to be done by you, the singers, on your own, as you make the language your own. SO MANY WORDS! You need to develop muscle memory for the medieval Latin and German (remember, no Italianate qu sounds, always kv. No soft gs, only hard. Etc. etc.) So please do spend time each day speaking or singing the text.


What we can do in rehearsal together is the usual work of unifying the phrasing, the dynamics, and the articulation. Add to that the work we are beginning on sound – where we sound majestic (“Blanziflor”), liquidly beautiful (“purpuratum floret pratum”), or raucous (“Oh, oh, oh, totus floreo” and all of In taberna). We are beginning to work on retaining an open, deep tone even in fast tempi (“tempus est iocundum, o, o, o”). And we have started to take Orff’s accent marks seriously, leading to the exciting rhythmic propulsion that makes this work so popular.


So – good work! We’ll continue next week, and we’ll return to the transcendent “Dark Night of the Soul” as well.