Sometime around the year 1230, groups of students and monks traveled around Europe writing poetry
about love, life and nature. Oh, and they largely criticized the Church. A collection of 228 poems in fractured Latin, German and French were found in a Bavarian cave in 1803. Since then, there have been
dozens of musical settings of the poems, ranging from those that use period instruments of the middle ages to modern rock bands. The most successful and widely known are the settings by German
composer/teacher Carl Orff. The Pennsylvania Ballet made Orff’s composition even more famous by adding colorful and unique choreography.
Carl Orff Carmina Burana Excerpts - Live Performance - Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society Robert L. Edwards - 1982
(If the performance excerpt does not begin to play automatically within 30 seconds, you can click this link. Carmina Burana excerpt )
A note about this live performance by the Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society with the Wilkes-Barre Ballet Company, Jozia Mieszkowski,
Director - There are places where, if you listen carefully, you can hear the swoosh and squeak of the ballet slippers on the floor mats. The men and women of the choir were separated by 80 feet. As were
the pianos and about half the percussion. And they were all 60 feet away from me. (OK, pause for a moment and think about that!) Most of the time, they could not hear each other. And the performance
was in a cavernous space with lots of echo. Even though microphones were close to the singers, you can sometimes hear the cavernous space. Also, it was often dark and they couldn’t
always see their music clearly. That they managed to stay together and produce a viable performance, especially considering some of the tempi (!) is a testament to their learned skills. There
were so many performances when I was exceedingly proud of these folks, and this was one of them.
In order to provide permanent documentation of the important sociological and musical contributions of the Greater Hazleton Oratorio Society,
Singers’ Guild of Scranton and Sinfonia da Camera to the lives of residents in Northeastern Pennsylvania, some of the 1977-1986 live performance analog recordings of these community groups were rescued, restored, and
converted to a digital format. Those restorations and the performance excerpts that appear on this website are intended as historical documents not as an entertainment product. The copying or dissemination of these
excerpts is strictly prohibited.