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Baltimore Choral Arts Society

A lively 'Carmina Burana' from the BSO, colorful vocal forces

A lively 'Carmina Burana' from the BSO, colorful vocal forces

Carl Orff's exuberant cantata "Carmina Burana" has pretty much held the public enthralled since its premiere in 1937. That the first audience happened to be in Nazi Germany gives some of us pause — eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin once referred to the piece as "the original 'Springtime for Hitler.'"

But the work's raw power — all those earthy medieval texts about fate, spring, booze and sex, set to reiterative, percussive music — is easy to understand, easy to embrace. No wonder parts of the score repeatedly turn up in movies and TV commercials. And Baltimore Symphony Orchestra programs.

This week, for the third time in eight years...

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