Top 6 reasons not to miss Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and ‘Rite of Spring’ January 18 and 19

Birmingham, Alabama, Philip Copeland, Samford University A Cappella Choir

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Birmingham, Alabama, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana, Rite of Spring
This ASO event will knock your socks off. Photo submitted

When “The Rite of Spring” premiered in Paris in 1913, the uproar of the audience made history. What will the Stravinsky composition make you do? Find out with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, January 18 and 19, 7PM, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. Also on the bill: five Birmingham choirs join the ASO players to deliver “Carmina Burana” with mammoth force. Tickets start at $24.

6 Fresh Reasons to Get Tickets Today

Birmingham, Alabama, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana, ASO Chorus
It’s a choral tour de force. Photo submitted

1. You already know (and love) ‘Carmina Burana.’

Where have you heard it? First, think football. The band plays it when a player misses a third down, said Philip Copeland, director of the ASO Chorus and Samford University A Cappella Choir.


Then, there’s the laundry list of films and video games that use it, from “The Omen” to the shopping cart scene in the opening credits of “Jackass: The Movie.” As a child, Tariq Masri, ASO principal bassoonist, first heard it in the 1989 Civil War film “Glory,” with Mathew Broderick and Denzel Washington.

Still no? Then you just have to hear it. Go to the performance’s event page on the Alabama Symphony Orchestra website. Next, scroll to the bottom to find a sample playlist and listen to No. 14. You’ll kick yourself.

2. Five, count ’em five, choirs!

Birmingham, Alabama, Philip Copeland, Samford University A Cappella Choir
Samford University A Cappella Choir, directed by Philip Copeland (center), joins the fun. Photo submitted

The ASO Chorus, UAB Concert Choir, University of Montevallo Concert Choir, Samford University A Cappella Choir and Birmingham Boys Choir join Alabama Symphony Orchestra to perform “Carmina Burana.”


“This is one of the big choral and orchestra performances that you don’t want to miss. It’s such a show of force that anyone who comes will love it.”

Philip Copeland, director, ASO Chorus

Get tickets for performances on January 18 and 19, 7PM, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

3. Composer Carl Orff loved secondhand bookstores as much as Bham loves Reed Books.

Used bookshops = inspiration. Photo at Reed Books by Holly Moore

Orff composed “Carmina Burana,” which premiered in 1936, after finding his muse in a book of Medieval Latin poems in a used bookstore.

“I found the long-famous illustration of ‘Fortune with the Wheel,’ and under it the lines: ‘O Fortuna velut Luna statu variabilis….’ [A] new work, a stage work with choruses for singing and dancing, simply following the pictures and text, sprang immediately to mind.”

Carl Orff (1895-1982), composer

4. It’ll take you from funny to sublime.

Birmingham, Alabama, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana, Tariq Masri, bassoonist
Tariq Masri, ASO principal bassoonist. Photo submitted

“Carmina Burana” runs the gamut from the drama of “O Fortuna”—the part we know so well—to a humorous poem about a swan being cooked on a spit. You’ll know you’re listening to the “swan roasting on a spit” poem when you hear the bassoon solo. Now, speaking of bassoon solos, let’s move on to “The Rite of Spring.”


5. ‘The Rite of Spring’ bassoon solo is one of the most famous, ever.

“It’s a very high solo, the extreme upper range of the bassoon. It’s a very famous thing—auditions typically require it. Anyone who wants to be a professional musician or orchestral player has to study and perfect that solo.”

Tariq Masri, ASO principal bassoonist

Experience Masri’s mastery of this famous solo. You’ll hear it at the beginning of “The Rite of Spring,” performed by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra on January 18 and 19. Get tickets.

6. Back to that 1913 audience uproar in Paris …

Birmingham, Alabama, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana, Rite of Spring
Will you be able to contain yourself when you hear “The Rite of Spring,” Birmingham? Photo submitted

The idea for “The Rite of Spring,” originally a ballet, came to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky in 1910. In a “fleeting vision,” he saw a primitive pagan world and a young woman dancing herself to death in sacrifice.

Whether it was Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography or Stravinsky’s music that caused the Paris ruckus is up for historical debate. However, what’s for sure, according to Masri, is that it changed the face of music.


“‘Rite of Spring’ was the most significant piece of music in the 20th century. It changed the landscape of everything as we know it.”

Masri

Don’t miss this unforgettable Alabama Symphony Orchestra special event. Get your tickets today!

Details

  • Special Event: ‘Carmina Burana’ and ‘Rite of Spring’
  • Performers: Alabama Symphony Orchestra, ASO Chorus, UAB Concert Choir, University of Montevallo Concert Choir, Samford University A Cappella Choir and Birmingham Boys Choir
  • Location: Jemison Concert Hall at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South Birmingham, AL 35205
  • Time: Friday, January 18, and Saturday, January 19, at 7PM
  • Tickets: $24-$74, with discounts available

Still reading? Good job, because now you know Bham Now has two pairs of tickets to give away. We’ll announce details in one of our newsletters and on Instagram soon to tell you how to enter to win.

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