"Richard Hickox, on his brilliantly recorded CD, like Previn uses the combined LSO forces, but adds the Southwen Boy's Choir who make sure we know they understand all about sexual abandon – their 'Oh, oh, oh I am bursting all over' is a joy. (…) The vivid orchestral detail revealed by the very bright digital sounds adds an extra dimentsion, with bass drum and percussive transients very telling, while the LPO brass, trumpets and horns especially, playing superbly are brilliantly projected." ~Penguin Guide
…The breadth, depth, and height of the sound stage presented by the multi-channel "surround" mix delivers an enormous portion of the experience of a live performance of a splendid orchestra, with splendid soloists in a splendid hall. You really are "surrounded" by the ambient signature of the Atlanta concert hall. Orff's percussive writing, as well as the innovative writing for winds and the large chorus is wonderfully captured with huge impact. I can ask for nothing more!
The words "original version" on the cover of this release are doubtless intended to indicate to the casual browser that this is not a recording of Carl Orff's choral spectacle called Carmina Burana, but of the pieces that inspired that work, contained in a medieval manuscript rediscovered in the nineteenth century in a Bavarian village called Benediktbeuern (hence "Carmina Burana," or songs or Beuern).
André Previn's 1975 EMI recording of Carmina Burana sounds better than ever in this new transfer. The analog tape hiss has been tamed, yet there's more "air" between the notes and a greater sense of dynamic and timbral definition. Engineering-wise, the mid-70s were golden years for EMI, and the rhythmic verve, dramatic momentum, and unbuttoned joy that Previn and his brilliant forces project still pack a sonic wallop. The soloists especially are outstanding. Thomas Allen navigates Orff's cruelly high tessitura with no effort, and Sheila Armstrong wraps her warm, flexible pipes around "In trutina mentis dubia" to moving effect. Gerald English gives just the right character to the roasted swan's lament, without overly exaggerating. In short, this performance surpasses Previn's live Vienna Philharmonic remake for DG, and ranks with Shaw (Telarc), Dorati (Decca), Blomstedt (Decca), Ormandy (Sony), Muti (EMI), and Mata (RCA) among the best recordings on disc of Carl Orff's pre-minimalist masterpiece.(Jed Distler)