CANCELLED - Amici's Spring Extravaganza - Carmina Burana and The Rio Grande

King's College Taunton Chapel, South Road, Taunton, TA1 3LA

9 May 2020

CANCELLED - Amici's Spring Extravaganza - Carmina Burana and The Rio Grande


Carmina Burana is described as a ‘scenic cantata’ – based on settings of 24 mediaeval poems, its full title is a bit of a mouthful, “Carmina Burana: Cantiones profanae cantoribus et choris cantandae comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis”. (“Songs of Beuern: Secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magical images”). Amici are not sure about what we can provide in the way of magical images, but we’re looking forward to getting our teeth into the music. The language will present a bit of a challenge too – a lot of it is in Latin, with which the choir is reasonably familiar, but chunks of it are in Mediaeval High German – that’s new!

Orff composed the work between 1935 and 1936 – the selection covers a wide range of topics, as familiar in the 13th century as they are in the 21st – the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling, and lust! No change there then.

Although Carmina Burana was intended as a staged work involving dance, choreography, visual design and other stage action, Amici will have to be content with performing what is usually called a ‘concert version’ (sorry). Nor is the arrangement we will be singing the fully orchestrated one with a massive and very expensive full symphony orchestra, but a very skilfully arranged version for two pianos and percussion. Despite what might seem to be a serious lack, this arrangement comes across very effectively.

This one work, even at full length does not a concert make, and the other major item in May’s event is something of a rarity these days, ‘The Rio Grande’ a suite by Constant Lambert. Born in 1905, Lambert was the son of an Australian painter – his musical leanings took him to the Royal College of Music where his teachers included Vaughan Williams and Malcolm Sargent. He was something of a prodigy, writing full orchestral works at age 13 and being commissioned to write a score for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe (Romeo and Juliet) before he was 20.

Like Carmina Burana his ‘The Rio Grande’ is described as a secular cantata and is based on a poem by Sacheverell Sitwell. First performed in 1929 its musical style might be described as ‘symphonic jazz’ not unlike Gershwin’s major works and it is a glorious mixture of jazz, ragtime, Brazilian dance rhythms and English choral sound – if you can imagine such a thing! (If you can’t, come and hear us).

Amici and musical directors Andrew Trewhella and Gareth Dayus-Jones are looking forward to welcoming you all to this concert which once again takes the choir down previously untrodden paths. 

Tickets on sale at Taunton Visitor Centre

Opening Hours

**This event has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak**


Adults £15.00
Students £5.00

Tickets on sale at Taunton Visitor Centre


CANCELLED - Amici's Spring Extravaganza - Carmina Burana and The Rio Grande
King's College Taunton Chapel
South Road
United Kingdom

T: 01823 340470



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