Lawrence University’s Concert Choir, Chorale, and Women’s Choir, along with the White Heron Chorale, Appleton Boy Choir, and the Fox Valley Symphony will perform Carmina Burana on Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Valley PAC.Soloists William Brown, Lester Lynch, and Anita Ymeri will also be featured under the direction of maestro Brian Groner.
Tickets information can be found either at the websites for the Performing Arts Center (www.foxcitiespac.com) or the Fox Valley Symphony (www.Foxvalleysymphony.com).
Carmina Burana, German-born composer Carl Orff’s epic masterpiece, is a collection of 13th century poetry by the German monks of Benediktbeuern, set for orchestra and voice.
Originally, Orff intended the work to be performed as an opera, but today it is more commonly known and worked as a concert piece.
The piece, first premiered as a stage work in Frankfurt in 1937, is divided into three sections dealing with nature, drinking, and love. These three medieval elements play into Orff’s simplistic and primitive compositional style, which aimed at conveying the most theatrical intensity through the least musical means.
The work begins with the awakening of spring and the praise of Fortune, the goddess of fate. In this opening section, solo baritone praises the overwhelming power of love.
The next section, set in medieval Germany during a peasant springtime feast, is centered on a drunkard that seems oblivious to the perilous nature of his soul. This section features an eerie falsetto tenor solo that encompasses the sound of a roasting swan.
The final section of the work provides a dramatic contrast by shifting to the pleasures of courtly love, including a baritone solo in which the lover seeks to fulfill personal desire.
This primitivistic work by Orff, along with the talent of both Lawrence University and the Fox Valley, should be a program not missed.