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Classical Notes

Classical MPR stars!

Posted at 4:20 PM on March 10, 2010 by Alison Young (3 Comments)
Filed under: Concerts, Musician stories

Classical Host Mindy Ratner and Performance Today producers Kate Saumur and Jeff Bina are making beautiful music together this Sunday as part of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra's performance of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

Mindy Ratner has been singing alto with the Minnesota Chorale for some time. She told me she loves the words. "They're filled with love and longing, and a fair amount of mischief. Although we sing about the unfairness of life and the cruelty of Fate, there's a lot of fun to be had along the way!"

Her favorite part is the "hapless tale of the Roasted Swan...poor guy!"

That 'poor guy' has his own solo movement that begins with one lone bassoon played by PT's Kate Saumur who says "just before he sings, the first bassoon has a very high, kind of comical/lamenting solo, and then one obnoxious low note. I call it my 'dead swan on a stick' solo. The scary part is not the high stuff, but resetting your embouchure and pulling that down-in-the-basement low C from out of nowhere."

Kate told me she loves the huge gong crashes in the opening and closing choruses. They make her want to be a percussionist!

That's PT's Jeff Bina's role. He is one of a whole band of percussionists playing the snare, chimes and sleigh bells. He says he loves the snare because it's "so crisp and exacting. I play on all the boisterous outbursts and I add the exclamation mark at the finish of each song. The sleigh bells are impossible to keep quiet. I wrote in my part when to pick them up, so they'll be covered by a loud part in the music!"

If Carmina is not enough to get your blood roiling, also on the program is one of the sweetest pieces ever written, Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music."

Comments (3)

OK, so I see who's playing. If I recall, someone has to sing Carmina Burana, no? Calling it "the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra's performance of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."" seems a little incomplete.

Posted by Theo | March 11, 2010 1:30 PM

Point well taken Theo!

You can click on the highlighted link and it will take you to the orchestra website for all of the particulars.

Mindy Ratner is one of the singers with the Minnesota Chorale, a group singing with the orchestra in addition to the Minneapolis Youth Orchestra.

Posted by alison young | March 11, 2010 2:26 PM

oops - yes, the Minneapolis Youth Chorus -- sorry, typing too fast!

Posted by alison young | March 11, 2010 5:02 PM