Carmina Burana

The committee has selected Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana as the main work for our next concert on 29th March 2020.

Many of the present members will have sung this work at least once before. It is a most exciting work to sing, with infectious rhythms, catchy tunes and simple, unforgettable harmonies. Carl Orff described his 1936 composition, comprising 24, 13th century poems, as “the celebration of the human spirit through sexual and holistic balance”.

Carmina Burana was the second work chosen by our founder, the late Alan Pickard for the then Manx Youth Choir and Teachers Choir in 1981. The choirs subsequently sang it again in 1988 and 1997. Many of the members sang it in a BBC concert recorded at the Villa Marina in 2008. It is in three parts: Springtime, In the Tavern and The Court of Love, preceded by, and ending with, an invocation to Fortune.

The composition appears in numerous films and television commercials. The “O Fortuna” opening and closing is played before the start of “The X Factor” and as the entrance theme for the judges.

The committee is pleased to announce that Mannin Youth Choir, and others are to join with us in singing it.

There is a constant need to encourage younger members to sing in the choir, so if anyone wishes to join Isle of Man Choral Society to sing this wonderful work with a fine Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra adding to the experience, then please contact the Society on for membership forms, rehearsal details etc. All these forms and details are located elsewhere on this website so just look for the join us tab.

Beethoven Choral Fantasia

The orchestration for Carmina Burana requires two grand pianos, so in order to use one of them again in the concert, we have decided to additionally perform Beethoven’s delightful Choral Fantasia.

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Choral Fantasia as a “brilliant finale” for a benefit concert in 1808 which also premiered his fifth and sixth Symphonies and fourth Piano Concerto as well as excerpts from his Mass in C (what a feat – for the orchestra particularly).

This was Beethoven’s last public appearance as a concert pianist before deafness finally terminated his virtuoso career which had initially been the foundation of his fame. This 20-minutes work in two movements is a real joy to sing; scored for piano, classical orchestra, SATB soloists and chorus.

The words are an “ode in praise of the awareness of Art as the path to untold bliss”.