…The breadth, depth, and height of the sound stage presented by the multi-channel "surround" mix delivers an enormous portion of the experience of a live performance of a splendid orchestra, with splendid soloists in a splendid hall. You really are "surrounded" by the ambient signature of the Atlanta concert hall. Orff's percussive writing, as well as the innovative writing for winds and the large chorus is wonderfully captured with huge impact. I can ask for nothing more!
Often described as ‘music for amateurs’, sometimes used (or misused) towards purely commercial ends, Orff’s Carmina Burana was clearly ready for a new approach, a sort of revivifying, thorough rethinking. This has now been done, thanks to Jos van Immerseel and the absolutely exceptional musical team that he assembled.
Itaipu (1989) is something of a cantata-cum-symphony-cum-oratorio with no clear text. Its topic is the world's largest hydroelectric dam, built on the Rarana River between Paraguay and Brazil, and the piece–in Glass's trademark punctuating minimalism–is filled with distinct South American instrumentation, particularly in the percussion. The music itself is noble, conjuring the human endeavor to build the five-mile-wide dam near the town of Itaipu. The Canyon (1988) is about no canyon in particular but tonally suggests the mystery of canyons in general. Both these compositions are among Glass's better works.