This disc, well recorded in 1974, always sounded very well and has long been a reference point for comparisons as a performance. The remastering simply improves an already outstanding product.
Previn takes a generally safe and middle course as regards tempi so on the face of it there seems to be little to make this stand out from the crowd. However, that is to ignore several very special characteristics.
The most important plus point to consider is Previn and his innate feeling for jazz and the rhythmical control and awareness of the need for ebb and flow of tempo within an overall steady beat. It is this flexibility within a tight overall rhythmical grip that makes this Carmina so satisfying musically. Added to that is Previn's gift for showmanship and, in that context, his long standing relationship with the LSO during his very successful series of television programs. This was, and still is, an unusual combination which seems to be perfectly attuned to Orff's composition.
In addition there are two fine soloists at his command. Thomas Allen in particular is a fine choice for this work as he is able to vocally act the part so well. Much the same can be said of Gerald English, the high tenor. Sheila Armstrong makes for a good choice in the Court of Love final section. The main choir and the boy's choir are both excellent with good diction and a very palpable sense of enjoyment in the words as well as the music.
All in all a very special combination of strong factors. I would therefore strongly suggest that this disc still warrants very serious consideration for multiple version collectors or for those interested in an 'only' version. The latest remastering adds a little more warmth and general 'presence' to what was a good original recording.
For those interested in an audio/video presentation there is an arguably even finer 'live' version on DVD with Ozawa conducting the BPO and his Japanese choir. The soloists are superb with Thomas Allen once more, Frank Lopardo as the even more excellent high tenor and the peerless Kathleen Battle as the soprano who really does achieve a sense of sublime ecstasy in her final solo. Ozawa drives harder and the whole thing is truly exhilarating.