My attendance record at the Hollywood Bowl being no cause for shame most of the season, I allowed myself the indulgence of denying my company to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which ended the “classical” portion of the season that final Thursday. The night had turned cold; the gin had run low; there are few works I despise more thoroughly, and for a greater number of reasons. Just the thought of this bespectacled, small-minded pedant amusing his Führer by constructing this lurid travesty, assuming the small fragments out of ancient German songbooks and twisting them into beer-hall jabberings as if to reinvent a new musical language, is offensive enough. The ugliness of this vulgar work would offend me even if the text were pure, serene and biblical; it is none of these. Listen to the exquisite original medieval “Burana” songs on disc and grieve for the fate of German art.
Don Carlo: Uneasy lie the heads. (Photo by Ken Howard/LA Opera)
Earlier on, the program was the young Jefferson Friedman’s tone poem constructed in honor of the famous sculptural grouping at the SmithsonianThe Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, the visionary creation by handyman William Hampton. Young (32) Friedman was on hand; he plans to incorporate his shiny, charming piece into a musical triptych honoring “outsider” artists and their inspirational, shimmering artworks. This one certainly does.?