Carmina Burana at Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall in London

Two Digital Gypsies Rating – 4 Stars

Recently we were treated to a performance of Carmina Burana at Royal Albert Hall. This was our first visit to the Hall and it is amazing. Opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria, over a million people a year see performances at the Hall.

For the first part of the performance the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played the William Tell Overture by Rossini and the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor by Bruch. Thomas Bould was the featured soloist for the Bruch piece and we agree with the critics description of him as “staggeringly virtuosic”. We both felt that he stole the show for the evening.

After the intermission was the performance of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff which featured soprano Ailish Tynan, baritone Mark Stone, and tenor Daniel Norman. The conductor Andrew Greenwood showed a deft hand at orchestrating the English Concert Chorus, the Highgate Choral Society, the Royal Choral Society, the Southend Boys’ Choir, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Carmina Burana is a cantata (vocal composition with instruments, in several movements often with a choir) based on 24 poems found in the medieval collection. During a previous performance we saw of Carmina Burana in the States, the text of the poems was displayed using supertitles so that you could read the text as the performance progressed. For us it made the performance more enjoyable because you could follow along with the story. We missed that because the content of these poems is often very amusing.

All in all it was a very enjoyable evening at Royal Albert Hall, and we hope to go back and see other performances there.