June 28, 2016

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 121: Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina

Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
reel-to-reel tape cover
photo by Styrous®


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I started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. The 101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes series is an extension of that collection. Inquire for information here.   

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Catulli Carmina (Ludi Scaenici) is a cantata by Carl Orff dating from 1940–1943. The work mostly sets poems of Catullus to music, with some text by the composer. Catulli Carmina is part of Trionfi, the musical triptych that also includes the Carmina Burana and Trionfo di Afrodite. It is scored for a full mixed choir, soprano and tenor soloists, and an entirely percussive orchestra – possibly inspired by Stravinsky's Les noces {dead} – consisting of four pianos, timpani, bass drum, 3 tambourines, triangle, castanets, maracas, suspended and crash cymbals, antique cymbal (without specified pitch), tam-tam, lithophone, metallophone, 2 glockenspiels, wood block, xylophone, and tenor xylophone




Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
reel-to-reel tape back cover
photo by Styrous®


The piece is divided into three parts: a prelude with Latin text by Orff, the central dramatic story using Catullus' poems, and a short postlude which recalls the music of the prelude.    

In the prelude, groups of young women and young men sing to each other of eternal ("eis aiona" – "forever" – two words of Greek in the otherwise Latin text) love and devotion, along with quite explicit statements of the erotic activities they intend with each other. (In the texts distributed with programs and early recordings, such as the Turnabout (Vox) one, many lines in the translation are left blank.) A group of old men interrupts with sarcastic comments and charges the young people to listen to "the songs of Catullus".    





Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
reel-to-reel tape cover spine
photo by Styrous®



The story proper tells of Catullus, a lovesick young man who falls in love with Lesbia, a woman who does not remain faithful to him. The tenor and soprano soloists portray Catullus and Lesbia respectively. This story is based loosely on the factual relationship between Catullus and Clodia, with a text mostly constructed from the poems of Catullus, in which he did address Clodia by the pseudonym Lesbia. Catullus wrote many poems about this relationship and the ones selected for the cantata take the audience through its several phases.    

In this listing, the poems are given the standard numbers. Subject to occasional textual variants, the poems are as written by Catullus, except for some interpolations in Latin ('O mea Lesbia' and the like, and exclamations of approval by the old men) and the curious extra words in poem 109.    




Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
reel-to-reel tape interior w/program notes
photo by Styrous®

The piece is divided into three parts: a prelude with Latin text by Orff, the central dramatic story using Catullus' poems, and a short postlude which recalls the music of the prelude.   

In the prelude, groups of young women and young men sing to each other of eternal ("eis aiona" – "forever" – two words of Greek in the otherwise Latin text) love and devotion, along with quite explicit statements of the erotic activities they intend with each other. (In the texts distributed with programs and early recordings, such as the Turnabout (Vox) one, many lines in the translation are left blank.) A group of old men interrupts with sarcastic comments and charges the young people to listen to "the songs of Catullus".    


 Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
photo by Styrous®

The orchestra only plays in the prelude and postlude, whereas in the Catullus play itself, the soloists are only accompanied by the chorus, who takes the part of a Greek choros. The piece experiments with repeated phrases and syncopated rhythms even more so than Carmina Burana. Scholars have debated the reason why this is such a lesser-known work compared to its predecessor for many years. Most of them have decided that, with the fall of Nazi Germany and the depressed feeling of Europe in the aftermath of World War II, it simply did not have the opportunity to be presented to any large audience for a long time. Even now, it is one of Orff's least performed works.   

The story proper tells of Catullus, a lovesick young man who falls in love with Lesbia, a woman who does not remain faithful to him. The tenor and soprano soloists portray Catullus and Lesbia respectively. This story is based loosely on the factual relationship between Catullus and Clodia, with a text mostly constructed from the poems of Catullus, in which he did address Clodia by the pseudonym Lesbia. Catullus wrote many poems about this relationship and the ones selected for the cantata take the audience through its several phases.    

In this listing, the poems are given the standard numbers. Subject to occasional textual variants, the poems are as written by Catullus, except for some interpolations in Latin ('O mea Lesbia' and the like, and exclamations of approval by the old men) and the curious extra words in poem 109. 



 Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
reel-to-reel tape label 
photo by Styrous®


Program notes

Carl Orff ~ Catulli Carmina
conducted by Eugene Ormandy
program notes
photos by Styrous®




























Tracklist:

    Catulli Carmina
   
A1     I — Praelusio    
A2     II — Actus I (Beginning)    
B1     II — Actus I (Conclusion)    
B2     III — Actus II    
B3     IV — Actus III    
B4     V — Exodium    

Carl Orff - Eugene Ormandy, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Temple University Choirs, Robert Page
Label: Columbia Masterworks ‎– MQ 930
Format: reel-to-reel 7-1/2 ips tape, Stereo
Country: US
Released: 1967
Genre: Classical
Style: Modern

Companies, etc.

Credits:

Notes:

2-eye "360 SOUND" label

Includes four-page libretto

"American Recording Première: The exciting sequel to Carmina Burana"



Net links:    
         
Carl Orff/Eugene Ormandy ~ Catulli Carmina  complete on YouTube       
Carl Orff ~ Carmina Burana         
           
      
           



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