Origins• Carmina Burana- latin for “Songs from Beuern”• Benediktbeuern- district in Bavaria• manuscript of 254 dramatic texts from 11th or 12th century• main Latin, few Middle High German (1050- 1350), Old French• some macaronic (FGL)• work of Goliards• found in 1803 in Benedictine monastery Bavaria• most important collection of vagabond songs
Part of Trionfi• Triptych also includes Catulli Camina and Trionfo di Afrodite• 24 songs in Carmina Burana• Scenic Cantata by Carl Orff• 1935 and 1936• Classical music repetoire• “O Fortuna” is epic• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es2 aOSw4n2A&feature=relmfu• Carmina Burana: Cantiones profanæ cantoribus et choris cantandæ comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis ("Songs of Beuern: Secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magic images." “Carmina Burana remains one of the most popular pieces of music ever written.” -wiki
• 1934 Orff encountered • Fickleness of fortune and text wealth• 1847 edition of the • Ephemeral nature of life Carmina Burana by • Joy of the return of Spring Johann Andreas Shmeller • Pleasures and perils of:• Michel Hofmann- Latin 1. drinking and Greek 2. gluttony• Selection and organization of 24 poems 3. gambling into a libretto 4. lust
- First staged by the Frankfurt Opera June 8, 1937- Erotic tone brought nervousness- WWII- Most famous piece of music composed in Germany at time“The music itself commits no sins simply by being andremaining popular. That Carmina Burana has appeared inhundreds of films and television commericals is proofthat it contains no diabolical message, indeed that itcontains no message whatsoever.” –Alex Ross
Musical Style• Directness of speech and access• Polyphony absent• Avoids overt harmonic complexities• Influenced melodically by late Renaissance/early Baroque models• Misconception of neumeatic melodies (prior to 5 line staff notation)• Reminiscent of Stravinsky’s earlier work ex. Les Noces (the Wedding)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IDyrJnKkpI
More…• primary music element• Rhythmically straightforward• Meter changes freely between measures• Rhythmic changes with caesura• “Controversial” feel• Solo arias challenging• Olim lacus colueram- only solo tenor ariahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3PoZ1MqGI
• Baritone arias often demand high notes• Parts of bari. Aria Dies nox et omnia must be sung in falsettohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY47ihxYr_w• soprano aria, Dulcissime• Lyric soprano- operatic soprano, bright, full timbre and heard over orchestra• Musical tensions more obvioushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0iaZz8TNUA
"Everything I have written to date, and whichyou have, unfortunately, printed, can bedestroyed. With Carmina Burana, my collectedworks begin.” -Orff
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