In October 2018, record label Deutsche Grammophon celebrated its 120th birthday by hosting a spectacular concert at Beijing’s Forbidden City (the first there since 1998) with their newly signed artists Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and maestro Long Yu. Top of the bill was a scintillating performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana, a work that surely matches the Forbidden City for its exotic color and boldness of ambition. The gathered forces don’t disappoint—Orff’s astonishing, often bawdy music is reinforced with a strong, focused chorus and soloists who add genuine drama. Soprano Aida Garifullina is utterly thrilling, while tenor Toby Spence’s roasting swan in “Olim lacus colueram” is deliciously sinister. The orchestral playing is big and bold.
Carmina Burana: Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi. 1. "O Fortuna" (Live from the Forbidden City)