Searching for Best Version of Carmina Burana ?

Bonesy Jonesy

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Jan 3, 2017
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Hi WBF Members,
Wondering if anybody can help me with regards to the classic performance of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' in stereo ?

One of my resolutions last year was to buy the best vinyl LP of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' in stereo I could afford and get my hands on as it is one of my all time favourite classical performances.

I already had one of the earlier Deutsche Grammophon versions (Ref Code: 139 362) and a Halle 'Classics for Pleasure' (Ref Code:- CFP4381) version which both I had bought second hand close to 20 years ago playing them all those years ago on my Linn LP12 with Naim amplification and Linn Kann Speakers on stands.
However even after cleaning these two old versions on my Keith Monks Classic RCM three separate times with playing the LP in between each of the washes (which was a soiled / pre-wash and a main wash for each of the three separate washes) last year they both still had ticks and pops and high surface noise from very faint surface scratches etc. which stopped me from fully enjoying the music when I played them.

So, in order to start my journey in finding the best version of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana', last year I ended up buying another 10 versions of it (to go with the two versions I already had) i.e. total 12 versions (which were all washed on my Keith Monks Classic RCM before I played them on my Kuzma XL DC with Kuzma 4Point 11" arm & Eminent Ex cartridge linked to my CH P1 Phono stage which is connected to my Hifiman EF1000 Amp & Susvara Headphones).

From these 10 versions I bought last year plus the two versions I had bought close to 20 years ago, I thought the best three versions I had bought to date (from reading online reviews etc.) were as follows;

1) A brand new record in mint condition (but still has some minor ticks and pops and surface noise that can be heard during quiet passages) (no date of manufacture given on record nor sleeve) Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362A / SLPM 0139362') conducted by Eugen Jochum, played by the Berlin Opera & Berlin Orchestra and sang by Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the the Berlin Choir.

2) A second hand in good condition (minor surface scratches with some ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) EMI 'Angel Series' Ltd Edition copy (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / (1E065-00053)), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

3) A second hand average condition (has surface scratches and plays with a lot of ticks and pops with high surface noise which are quite loud during quiet passages) 1975 MFSL / Angel / EMI 'Original Master Recording' copy (Ref Code:- MFSL 1-506) conducted by Andre Previn, played by the London Symphony Orchestra and sang by Sheila Armstrong, Gerald English & Thomas Allen and the London Symphony Choir and the St Clement Danes Grammer School Boys Choir

The three listed above were the best sounding (to my ears on my headphone system) out of all 12 versions in the order I have listed them above with the Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362) version being well in front for overall sound clarity although not as realistic as the other two (especially the MFSL 1-506 version) I guess because this newer version was digitally processed and recorded onto vinyl.

However the MFSL 1-506 version sounded quite masked and not very clear at all especially with doing an A to B direct comparison with the other two which surprised me with it being an MFSL 'Original Master Recording' and all that and what it cost me for such a mediocre condition LP (for both the sleeve and LP itself).

The EMI 'Angel Series' Ltd Edition copy (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / (1E065-00053) was a mix in sound character to the other two. For the price I paid for it and the relatively good condition it was in, it was a good buy and sounded quite good although not with the clarity of the Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362') version.

The other nine versions were either poor sounding (not just due to high surface noise and ticks & pops but also production and recording of the music) or just didn't sound right due to the orchestra and performer & singers etc. so I will most probably never play them again ! These other nine versions (carrying on from the first three listed above and in no particular music / sound performance or condition order and include the two I bought close to 20 years ago (4) & 5))) are;

4) Bought close to 20 years ago, a second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362') conducted by Eugen Jochum, played by the Berlin Opera & Berlin Orchestra and sang by Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the the Berlin Choir.

5) Bought close to 20 years ago, a second hand in average to good condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1982 EMI 'Classics for Pleasure' (Ref Code:- CFP4381) conducted by Maurice Handford, played by the Halle Orchestra, sang by Sheila Armstrong, Brian Rayner Cook, Peter Hall and the Halle Choir and Boys of Manchester Grammer School Choir.

6) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1965 EMI 'HMV Greensleeve' series (Ref Code:- ESD 7177 / 037-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

7) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1966 EMI Records (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / 1E065-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

8) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1966 EMI Records (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / 1E065-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

9) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1976 / 1979 DECCA 'Jubilee Series' (Ref Code:- JB78), conducted by Antal Dorati, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, sang by Norma Burrows, Louis Devos, John Shirley-Quirk and the Brighton Festival Chorus and Southend Boys Choir.

10) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1960 CBS (Ref Code:- 72169), conducted by Eugene Ormandy, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, sang by Janice Harsanyi, Rudolph Petrak, & Harve Presnell and the Rutgers University Choir.

11) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1965 Helidor (Ref Code:- 89 525), conducted by Herbert Kegel, played by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, sang by Jutta Vulpius, Hans-Joachim Rotzsch, Kurt Rehm & Kurt Hubenthal and the Leipzig Radio Choir and the Children's Choir. (Have two exact copies of this LP as bought one of them by mistake with not knowing I already had one lol :) ).

12) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1961 Supraphon Records (Ref Code:- SUA ST 50409), conducted by Vaclav Smetacek, played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, sang by Milada Subrtova, Teodor Srubar & Jaroslav Tomanek and the Czech Philharmonic Chorus.


So, does anybody out there have a better version(s) of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' to the three I have listed above and any of the other nine listed, and if so what is it / are they ?

p.s. sorry for the very long post but I had to list all the information !
 
Try this one...
C4F846B7-5076-49CF-8370-2D2790D5A640.png
 
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CD is fine .... sorry for my lapsus linguae
It's all music.
Karel
Thank you 'carolus'.
I am only interested in vinyl though and not CDs. However I will check out and see if the version you have given me is also on vinyl.
 
Hi 'DeYoung', Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.
I remember now that when I was looking at the other versions (I ending up buying) I came across this version but didn't buy it.
Is it good ?
 
....I am only interested in vinyl though and not CDs. However I will check out and see if the version you have given me is also on vinyl.

I rummaged in my (old) record/vinyl cabinet after Carmina-s
FYI


Vinyl/DG stereo/dirigent Eugen Jochum/Chor Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin


Vinyl/Heleodor/ dirigent Herbert Kegel/ Rundfunk sinfonie orchestre Leipzig


Vinyl/Eufoda/dirigent Roger Leens/ Gemengd koor musica nova Boom/ piano Robert Groslot

It's music.
Karel
 
Hi 'DeYoung', Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.
I remember now that when I was looking at the other versions (I ending up buying) I came across this version but didn't buy it.
Is it good ?
Yes.. Its an excellent performance., imo...Telarc digital is very good and sounds excellent.
Judith Blegen has an especially beautiful voice...
I can recommend without reservation.
 
Yes.. Its an excellent performance., imo...Telarc digital is very good and sounds excellent.
Judith Blegen has an especially beautiful voice...
I can recommend without reservation.
What production year is the one you have 'DeYoung' ?
 
I rummaged in my (old) record/vinyl cabinet after Carmina-s
FYI


Vinyl/DG stereo/dirigent Eugen Jochum/Chor Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin


Vinyl/Heleodor/ dirigent Herbert Kegel/ Rundfunk sinfonie orchestre Leipzig


Vinyl/Eufoda/dirigent Roger Leens/ Gemengd koor musica nova Boom/ piano Robert Groslot

It's music.
Karel
Thank you 'carolus' for looking through your record / vinyl cabinet for Carmina Burana and replying back to me. Very much appreciated.

I think the first two in your list of three I already have in my list i.e. items 1) & 4) and item 11).

I will look for your third listed item.
 
What production year is the one you have 'DeYoung' ?
The date of production on the Lp that I have is 1981
I believe that a CD version came out in 1990 and again in 2006
 
Last edited:
The DGG version with Jochum was authorized by Orff himself according to the front cover. The early large tulip on the label pressing is supposed to be the best. The Telarc vinyl is an Absolute Sound Super Disc, as are the EMI Previn version ASD3117, and the Stokowski Capitol Records version SPAR8470. I have the Jochum, Previn and Stokowski versions on 15ips 2 track tape, copied from safety or production masters. The Stokowski is also available on an EMI reissue on the bargain Classics for Pleasure label from the early '70's, CfP40311. Another favorite Orff composition, not so well known is Die Kluge (the Wise Girl). My favorite version of that is EMI Columbia SAX2257-8 (with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the title role). The blue/silver first label is not crazy expensive like many of the early SAX recordings - around $200 for the two record set.

Larry
 
The date of production on the Lp that I have is 1981
I believe that a CD version came out in 1990 and again in 2006
Thank you 'DeYoung'. Much appreciated.
 
The DGG version with Jochum was authorized by Orff himself according to the front cover. The early large tulip on the label pressing is supposed to be the best. The Telarc vinyl is an Absolute Sound Super Disc, as are the EMI Previn version ASD3117, and the Stokowski Capitol Records version SPAR8470. I have the Jochum, Previn and Stokowski versions on 15ips 2 track tape, copied from safety or production masters. The Stokowski is also available on an EMI reissue on the bargain Classics for Pleasure label from the early '70's, CfP40311. Another favorite Orff composition, not so well known is Die Kluge (the Wise Girl). My favorite version of that is EMI Columbia SAX2257-8 (with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the title role). The blue/silver first label is not crazy expensive like many of the early SAX recordings - around $200 for the two record set.

Larry
Ooo wow. Thank you so much 'astrotoy' for your feedback and great information. Very much appreciated.

I will look into your recommendations over the weekend.
 

Here is an alternate translation of the lyrics of Carmina Burana. Larry
 
The Muti on EMI is a favorite especially for Arleen Auger's brilliance. It’s been issued on vinyl repeatedly (see Discogs) but if you can find the Japan pressing Angel Records – EAC-80592, you'll have a good benchmark. 5935407F-25AF-404A-BEB4-C7233BBB9470.jpeg
 
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Hi WBF Members,
Wondering if anybody can help me with regards to the classic performance of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' in stereo ?

One of my resolutions last year was to buy the best vinyl LP of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' in stereo I could afford and get my hands on as it is one of my all time favourite classical performances.

I already had one of the earlier Deutsche Grammophon versions (Ref Code: 139 362) and a Halle 'Classics for Pleasure' (Ref Code:- CFP4381) version which both I had bought second hand close to 20 years ago playing them all those years ago on my Linn LP12 with Naim amplification and Linn Kann Speakers on stands.
However even after cleaning these two old versions on my Keith Monks Classic RCM three separate times with playing the LP in between each of the washes (which was a soiled / pre-wash and a main wash for each of the three separate washes) last year they both still had ticks and pops and high surface noise from very faint surface scratches etc. which stopped me from fully enjoying the music when I played them.

So, in order to start my journey in finding the best version of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana', last year I ended up buying another 10 versions of it (to go with the two versions I already had) i.e. total 12 versions (which were all washed on my Keith Monks Classic RCM before I played them on my Kuzma XL DC with Kuzma 4Point 11" arm & Eminent Ex cartridge linked to my CH P1 Phono stage which is connected to my Hifiman EF1000 Amp & Susvara Headphones).

From these 10 versions I bought last year plus the two versions I had bought close to 20 years ago, I thought the best three versions I had bought to date (from reading online reviews etc.) were as follows;

1) A brand new record in mint condition (but still has some minor ticks and pops and surface noise that can be heard during quiet passages) (no date of manufacture given on record nor sleeve) Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362A / SLPM 0139362') conducted by Eugen Jochum, played by the Berlin Opera & Berlin Orchestra and sang by Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the the Berlin Choir.

2) A second hand in good condition (minor surface scratches with some ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) EMI 'Angel Series' Ltd Edition copy (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / (1E065-00053)), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

3) A second hand average condition (has surface scratches and plays with a lot of ticks and pops with high surface noise which are quite loud during quiet passages) 1975 MFSL / Angel / EMI 'Original Master Recording' copy (Ref Code:- MFSL 1-506) conducted by Andre Previn, played by the London Symphony Orchestra and sang by Sheila Armstrong, Gerald English & Thomas Allen and the London Symphony Choir and the St Clement Danes Grammer School Boys Choir

The three listed above were the best sounding (to my ears on my headphone system) out of all 12 versions in the order I have listed them above with the Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362) version being well in front for overall sound clarity although not as realistic as the other two (especially the MFSL 1-506 version) I guess because this newer version was digitally processed and recorded onto vinyl.

However the MFSL 1-506 version sounded quite masked and not very clear at all especially with doing an A to B direct comparison with the other two which surprised me with it being an MFSL 'Original Master Recording' and all that and what it cost me for such a mediocre condition LP (for both the sleeve and LP itself).

The EMI 'Angel Series' Ltd Edition copy (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / (1E065-00053) was a mix in sound character to the other two. For the price I paid for it and the relatively good condition it was in, it was a good buy and sounded quite good although not with the clarity of the Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362') version.

The other nine versions were either poor sounding (not just due to high surface noise and ticks & pops but also production and recording of the music) or just didn't sound right due to the orchestra and performer & singers etc. so I will most probably never play them again ! These other nine versions (carrying on from the first three listed above and in no particular music / sound performance or condition order and include the two I bought close to 20 years ago (4) & 5))) are;

4) Bought close to 20 years ago, a second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) Deutsche Grammophon (Ref Code:- 'STEREO 139 362') conducted by Eugen Jochum, played by the Berlin Opera & Berlin Orchestra and sang by Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the the Berlin Choir.

5) Bought close to 20 years ago, a second hand in average to good condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1982 EMI 'Classics for Pleasure' (Ref Code:- CFP4381) conducted by Maurice Handford, played by the Halle Orchestra, sang by Sheila Armstrong, Brian Rayner Cook, Peter Hall and the Halle Choir and Boys of Manchester Grammer School Choir.

6) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1965 EMI 'HMV Greensleeve' series (Ref Code:- ESD 7177 / 037-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

7) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1966 EMI Records (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / 1E065-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

8) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1966 EMI Records (Ref Code:- SAN 162 / 1E065-00053), conducted by Rafael Frubeck De Burgos, played by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and sang by Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Raymond Wolansky & John Noble and the the The New Philharmonia Chorus.

9) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1976 / 1979 DECCA 'Jubilee Series' (Ref Code:- JB78), conducted by Antal Dorati, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, sang by Norma Burrows, Louis Devos, John Shirley-Quirk and the Brighton Festival Chorus and Southend Boys Choir.

10) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1960 CBS (Ref Code:- 72169), conducted by Eugene Ormandy, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, sang by Janice Harsanyi, Rudolph Petrak, & Harve Presnell and the Rutgers University Choir.

11) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1965 Helidor (Ref Code:- 89 525), conducted by Herbert Kegel, played by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, sang by Jutta Vulpius, Hans-Joachim Rotzsch, Kurt Rehm & Kurt Hubenthal and the Leipzig Radio Choir and the Children's Choir. (Have two exact copies of this LP as bought one of them by mistake with not knowing I already had one lol :) ).

12) A second hand in average condition (with surface scratches and ticks and pops & surface noise during the quiet passages) 1961 Supraphon Records (Ref Code:- SUA ST 50409), conducted by Vaclav Smetacek, played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, sang by Milada Subrtova, Teodor Srubar & Jaroslav Tomanek and the Czech Philharmonic Chorus.


So, does anybody out there have a better version(s) of 'Carl Orff - Carmina Burana' to the three I have listed above and any of the other nine listed, and if so what is it / are they ?

p.s. sorry for the very long post but I had to list all the information !
The Speakers Corner reissue is all analogue:

It may be worth finding one still sealed.

I have the original DGG and the Speakers Corner reissue.
 
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