Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Harmonia Mundi HMC 90 335 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi "musique d'abord" HMA 195 335 [CD]


  1. Bacche, bene venies (CB 200)
  2. Virent prata hiemata (CB 151)
  3. Nonem a sollempnibus (CB 52)
  4. Alte clamat Epicurus / Nu lebe ich (CB 211 / 211a)
  5. Vite perdite II (CB 31)
  6. Vacillantis trutine (CB 108)
  7. In taberna quando sumus (CB 196)
  8. Iste mundus (CB 24)
  9. Axe Phebus aureo (CB 71)
  10. Dulce solum natalis patrie (CB 119)
  11. Procurans odium (CB 12)
  12. Vite perdite I (CB 31)
  13. Sic mea fata canendo (CB 116)
  14. Ich was ein chint so wolgeran (CB 185)
  15. Deduc Syon, uberrimas (CB 34)
  16. Ecce torpet probitas (CB 3)
  17. In terra summus rex (CB 11)
  18. Fas et nefas ambulant (CB 19)
  19. Flete flenda (CB 5)
  20. Homo qui vigeas (CB 22)

Performers: Zeger Vandersteene (countertenor, percussion), Hans Breitschopf (countertenor), Pedro Liendo (baritone), René Zosso (hurdy-gurdy, chant), René Clemencic (recorders, flute, cornet, shepherd's flute, organ), Andràs Kécskès (lute, rubebe, psaltery), Frantisek Pik (cornet, courbe, mandolin), Anne Osnowycz (buche), Spiros Rantos (vielles, rabab), Richard Erig (shawm, bombarde), Walter Schiefer (percussion)

Playing time: 61'

Recording date: February, 1974

Carmina Burana is a large German student manuscript from which Orff drew his famous 20th century setting. The current disc is the original 13th century version.

Although the manuscript, discovered in a Benedictine monastery in the mid-19th century and subsequently named Carmina Burana, is very extensive, the majority of the texts do not include melodies. These are to be inferred by the structure of texts or other cues which allude to well-known medieval melodies from other sources. German medieval music of this sort is generally known as Vagantenlieder, the poetry of the Goliards.

The lag between the technical & artistic developments in this source and those of Western Europe is substantial. Although the Carmina Burana dates from c.1220, it is actually grouped technically with analogous songs and notations in the Cambridge Songbook of c.1000. This is of course part of its interest, as it reflects an earlier practice which did not survive in quantity.

This is a classic performance, often raucous in tone. There are many other recordings to choose from, often with rather different performance decisions.

Some other renditions:

Carmina Burana
Codex Buranus - Original version
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Oehms Classics 635
Carmina Burana
Boston Camerata - Joel Cohen
Erato 14987
Carmina Burana: Medieval Songs
Ensemble Unicorn - Michael Posch / Oni Wytars - Marco Ambrosini
Naxos 8.554837
Carmina Burana
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Eloquentia 1127
Carmina Burana: Tempus transit
Ricercar 238
Carmina Burana: Sacri Sarcasmi
La Reverdie
Arcana 353
Satires, Desires, and Excesses
Music from the Carmina Burana
New Orleans Musica da Camera
Centaur 2145
Carmina Burana
Studio der Frühen Musik - Thomas Binkley
Teldec (Das Alte Werk) 95521 (2 CDs)
Carmina Burana
Capella Antiqua München - Konrad Ruhland
Christophorus Entrée 0016
Carmina Burana
Carmina Moralia, Carmina Veris et Amoris, Carmina Lusorum et Potatorum, Carmina Divina
Theatrum Instrumentorum
Arts 47511
Carmina Burana
Version médiévale
Le Concert dans l'Oeuf & l'Atelier Polyphonique de Bourgogne
Collection Romane 105
Carmina Burana
Modo Antiquo - Bettina Hoffmann
Amadeus "Speciale" 056-57 (2 CDs)
Carmina Burana XII
Ensemble Alegria
Pierre Vérany 791092
In Taberna
Carmina Burana - Original version
Collegium Arniense
Well Music "International" 99901
Carmina Burana
Le Grand Mystère de la Passion
Ensemble Organum - Marcel Pérès
Harmonia Mundi 901323.24 (2 CDs)

The last citation above is a reconstruction of the dramatic play which concludes the manuscript, and which is basically distinct from much of the other contents.

And two more extensive programs, including the one from which the present compilation is drawn:

Carmina Burana
New London Consort - Philip Pickett
L'Oiseau Lyre 443 143 (4 CDs; mid-price)
Carmina Burana
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Harmonia Mundi musique d'abord 190336.38 (3 CDs)

Although they may be "complete" in some sense, it is not worthwhile to talk about completeness for this manuscript, as precisely which lyrics have performable music is a matter of some inference.

A other few recordings by Clemencic of similar material:

La Fête de l'Âne
Traditions du Moyen-Âge
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Harmonia Mundi 901036
Mysterium Passionis et resurrectionis
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Nuova Era 7054
Anonymous from Beauvais - Ludus Danielis
Liturgical Drama of the XII Century
Clemencic Consort - René Clemencic
Aura Classics 184

For more recordings by Clemencic, see his discography.

Finally, a later collection of Gothic music from the German-speaking world, representing a similar cross-section of genres:

Codex Engelberg 314
Music of the Late Middle Ages
Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - Dominique Vellard / Wulf Arlt
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77185

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Todd M. McComb