LABELS: DG Galleria
WORKS: Catulli carmina; La tentation de Saint Antoine
PERFORMER: Arleen Auger (soprano), Wieslaw Ochman (tenor), Janet Baker (contralto) Koeckert Quartet, Chorus of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin/ Eugen Jochum, Strings of the Bavarian RSO/Werner Egk
CATALOGUE NO: 449 097-2 ADD (1971/66)
This stylish, snappy performance captures well the wit and drama of Orff’s wartime settings of Catullus (oddly, the Russian Front was in full swing when this raunchy work had its 1943 Leipzig premiere). The chorus is characterful and amiably raucous; Jochum’s percussive accompaniment is suitably punchy. Solos are outstanding: Auger sad, tender, huskily appealing; Ochman (as ever) clear as a bell in his melismatic wooing and cooing.
Egk’s St Anthony is a sort of Les illuminations meets Songs of the Auvergne: slightly dense neo-classicism. The Koeckert is in fine fettle, while Baker gives the work the kind of spirited outing it calls for. Roderic Dunnett