Jump to navigation Jump to search Not to be confused with Catulli Carmina. Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed in 1935 and 1936 by Carl Orff, based on 24 poems from the medieval collection Carmina Burana. In 1934, Orff encountered the 1847 edition of the Carmina Burana by Johann Andreas Schmeller, the original text dating mostly from the 11th or 12th century, including some from the 13th century. Carmina Burana is structured into five major sections, containing 25 movements total. Orff indicates attacca markings between all the movements within each scene. Much of the compositional structure is based on the idea of the turning Fortuna Wheel. Regnabo, Regno, Regnavi, Sum sine regno”.
Within each scene, and sometimes within a single movement, the wheel of fortune turns, joy turning to bitterness, and hope turning to grief. Orff subscribed to a dramatic concept called “Theatrum Mundi” in which music, movement, and speech were inseparable. Babcock writes that “Orff’s artistic formula limited the music in that every musical moment was to be connected with an action on stage. It is here that modern performances of Carmina Burana fall short of Orff’s intentions. Orff’s style demonstrates a desire for directness of speech and of access. Carmina Burana contains little or no development in the classical sense, and polyphony is also conspicuously absent. Orff was influenced melodically by late Renaissance and early Baroque models including William Byrd and Claudio Monteverdi. Rhythm, for Orff as it was for Stravinsky, is often the primary musical element.
Overall, it sounds rhythmically straightforward and simple, but the metre will change freely from one measure to the next. While the rhythmic arc in a section is taken as a whole, a measure of five may be followed by one of seven, to one of four, and so on, often with caesura marked between them. The baritone arias often demand high notes not commonly found in baritone repertoire, and parts of the baritone aria Dies nox et omnia are often sung in falsetto, a unique example in baritone repertoire. The score also has short solos for three tenors, baritone and two basses. Orff’s disciple Wilhelm Killmayer in 1956 and authorized by Orff himself, to allow smaller ensembles the opportunity to perform the piece. Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed. With Carmina Burana, my collected works begin. Several performances were repeated elsewhere in Germany.
Alex Ross wrote that “the music itself commits no sins simply by being and remaining popular. That Carmina Burana has appeared in hundreds of films and television commercials is proof that it contains no diabolical message, indeed that it contains no message whatsoever. The desire Orff expressed to his publisher has by and large been fulfilled: No other composition of his approaches its renown, as evidenced in both pop culture’s appropriation of “O Fortuna” and the classical world’s persistent programming and recording of the work. In the United States, Carmina Burana represents one of the few box office certainties in 20th-century repertoire. This version, authorized by Orff himself, allowed smaller ensembles the opportunity to perform the piece. The popularity of the work has ensured the creation of many additional arrangements for a variety of performing forces. A performance of this arrangement was recorded by the North Texas Wind Symphony under Eugene Corporon.
In writing this transcription, Mas Quiles maintained the original chorus, percussion, and piano parts. An additional arrangement for concert winds was prepared by composer John Krance and does not include chorus. Various arrangements of different movements for young bands also exist. Australian classical guitarist Gareth Koch arranged and recorded Carmina Burana for the guitar. It was originally released by the ABC Classics label in 1998 and re-released in 2005. Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir, John Noble, Raymond Wolansky, Lucia Popp, Emi, 1966. Eugen Jochum with the choir and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Hans-Joachim Rotzsch, Kurt Hübenthal and Kurt Rehm.