Carmina Bu­rana at Guy Fawkes

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - RICHARD MAYS

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.

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