I have been trying for some time to find the title/composition of the music featured in the Guiness ale commercial (the one with the people on the train).
Can anyone help me?
*Everyone* can help you.
'O Fortuna' from *Carmina Burana* by Carl Orff.
Warning: the other 40 minutes of the piece don't sound like that part.
Which brings me to the point where I can offer Baird's conjecture, which says that the probability is one that a question posted on r.m.c. by someone unlearned in classical music can be answered by 'Carmina Burana'.
Thank you Peter. With your help I've now managed to find the what I believe is the original recording as well.
Nope, there's also the 'diamond music' (maybe 1:4) and the Bell Song (maybe 1:10). But I don't recall any queries about Mio babbino caro. (Though NPR's Scott Simon made the bonehead error of saying it's about a baby! I.e. bambino.)
There must be 50 of 'em in the catalog
Of all the ones I've listened to so far, the version by Herbert Blomstedt conducting the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choirs matched in tempo, instruments and overall 'force'. Its this one that I believe was used for the commercial. Unlike other recordings, the chorus emphasized the interplay between the brass and strings in the background rather than overwhelming them. Several other renditions, typically european, of Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi were at a slower tempo. I'm not saying they are bad, (the actual words are enunciated much better in the european versions) just that they lack the chest thumping kick brought forth with a faster beat.
I hate to say it but the worst I've heard so far was done by the Berlin German Operatic Chorus - the conductor, Eugen Jochum, gave me the impression that if the chorus didn't make each syllable in each word come out clearly, the chorus would have been shot.
I've grabbed the version I like the best at our local book/music store. I'm sure the folks there are happy, they were about ready to throw me out after being such a pest.
For any self-respecting choral ensemble, that would be the *minimal* requirement.
Listen, for instance, to any recording of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, from Reiner through Solti, when it was prepared by Margaret Hillis.
Contrast Robert Shaw's famous choruses (earlier, his Chorale; in the digital era, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus): diction wasn't his highest priority, and it sometimes shows.