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Carmina continues with “Primo Vere.” It is a song of spring, but somber tone suggests that monks are expecting to be smitten by a vengeful God for even thinking about those young women with fresh tan lines. Fortunately mood soon brightens, with sonorous baritone of guest vocalist Anton Belov carrying melodiously over a string accompaniment: “. . . and bright fields laugh with flowers.” By end of section, music is happy to point of silliness, and final words are “I’d still prefer instead, to have Queen of England lying in my bed.” Still sound like monks’ poetry? I hope queen was much younger then.
“I am abbott of Cuckoominster!” Belov sings whimsically in a section called “In Tavern.” However, most musically stunning part is a lament sung in very high, tight notes by guest tenor Matthew Garrett, accompanied by flutes suggesting waterfowl: “The lake was my home, and I was beautiful — when I was a swan. Oh, misery! How black I am and thoroughly roasted!” Given that this is a tavern song, thoroughly toasted may be more accurate.
The next section, “The Court of Love,” features surprisingly rich voice of guest soprano Suzan Hanson: “There was a girl, who looked like a rose; her face shone, her mouth blossomed. Ah!” There’s a lot of playful back-and-forth between soloists and chorus in this section, and entire work is structured in repeating blocks that give it a wonderful rhythmic quality. An exuberant finale (“abundant Venus!”) deceives listener, leaving him unprepared for sudden reprise of nightmarish “Fortuna” section at end: “Lament with me, all of you, for fortune strikes down strong man!”
What a buzzkill.
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Rob LaGrone, Jetsetters Magazine Editor – Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com To book travel visit Jetstreams.com at www.jetstreams.com and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at www.beachbooker.com
Robert LaGrone, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com