Carmina Burana at Guy Fawkes
Bawdy, irreverent, satirical, tongue-incheek but irresistibly toe-tapping is an apt description of Carl Orff’s famous choral and orchestral piece Carmina Burana.
Palmerston North choir the Renaissance Singers open their ‘‘choral proms’’ concert with the 1930’s work based on a medieval manuscript discovered in 1803. The choir’s music director Guy Donaldson said a choral proms was a concert without an orchestra.
Donaldson said O Fortuna, the opening and closing piece of Carmina Burana, would be easily recognisable having been used in numerous films, TV programmes, advertisements, video games, and classical recordings.
‘‘The piece was originally written for a massive choir and large orchestra, but this performance will be with piano, keyboard, and a battery of percussion instruments providing a whole range of sonic colours.’’
At the piano for the piece will be former Palmerston North musician Jonathan Berkahn, now based in Wellington, joined by Christine Archer-Lock wood. Guest vocalists are wellknown New Zealand baritone Roger Wilson, from Wellington, and Palmerston North soprano Shayna Tweed.
Donaldson said as it was a proms concert there would be the traditional flag and bunting items, such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, but they would take their accustomed place at the end of the show.
Between Carmina Burana and Land of Hope and Glory will be a bracket of well-known, mainly non-classical numbers that had been especially arranged for the choir. ‘‘Our serious musicians get to lighten up to sing some of the best from the Beatles, Johann Strauss, West Side Story and a medley of favourites from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, and Carousel,’’ Donaldson said. ‘‘It’s music that people know and love.’’
The ‘‘little cracker’’ of a concert on Guy Fawkes Day, Sunday, November 5, will be at Palmerston North Boys’ High School’s Speirs Centre at 2.30pm with tickets at the door.
Palmerston North’s Renaissance Singers in full song.