Spectacular Carmina Burana flashmob brings train station to a shuddering halt in blaze of music

7 May 2021, 16:00 | Updated: 7 May 2021, 19:23

Spectacular Carmina Burana flashmob brings train station to a shuddering halt in blaze of music
Spectacular Carmina Burana flashmob brings train station to a shuddering halt in blaze of music. Picture: Vienna Volksoper / Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB)

By Rosie Pentreath

This dramatic flashmob will at once make you feel small and entirely awestruck.

Choral singers have brought a busy train station to a shuddering halt with a ground-shaking performance of Carl Orff’s thunderous Carmina Burana.

An innocent enough platform-busking ensemble, complete with a double bass, a couple of flutes and a guy in a hat holding some drum sticks, starts to play.

And then mustering medieval might, people on the platform who at first appear to be commuters going about their business burst into resonant song, one-by-one – until you can’t tell who next will be a performer and who will remain spectator.

The first singer makes her entry at a florist, holding a single flower as she turns the heads of commuters nearby. Another spontaneous performer sings her part while checking out the departure time boards overhead.

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The whole thing is executed with precision and wonder, and an increasingly warm and awe-inspiring blanket of sound ensues as Orff’s familiar chorus rings out. Soon the ground is shaking with the timpani-fuelled choral masterpiece.

The music they’re performing is Orff’s 20th-century choral work, Carmina Burana, which is based on the medieval text of the same name.

Train guards stare in open-mouthed wonder. Travellers crowd around. Performers leap, and phone users cover their mouths due to the overwhelm.

It’s quite the spectacle. And we don’t even think the ceiling confetti to end it all orff (sorry) is overkill. Bravo, Vienna Volksoper, and hosts Austrian Federal Railways.