What is the best recording of Orff’s Carmina Burana?

The Eugene Symphony rocked the Hult Center last night with a stellar performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana. There’s nothing like a good intense chorus, sung in Latin in German, that sounds all transcendent and high-minded, but really it’s about drinking, getting some booty and how crappy life can be. The roast swan is a nice touch too. Now I’m obsessed with getting Carmina Burana on CD.

But what is the best recording of Orff’s carmina burana? Here are some contenders I’ve encountered on my surfing search:

These all sound like mighty contenders, though based off the reviews, the Carmina Burana / McNair, Aler, Hagegard on Amazon intrigues me most. Jodie, are you making notes for my Christmas list?

6 thoughts on “What is the best recording of Orff’s Carmina Burana?”

  1. Those recordings are very good, I’ve heard the five of them, but in my opinion the best recording is the one made in 1989 by the Salzbug Mozarteum Orchestra and the director Kurt Prestel. Excelent voices and a powerfull sound!!!

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  2. STOKOWSKI ! 1959 — very dark and heavy sonically. Feels like something unearthed, not like an interpretation. As blended and natural as granite or volcanic rock. The Houston boys choir is otherworldly. And the soloists carve and shape their phonetics in wonderfully odd ways. I have trouble listening to any other versions.

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