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Sunday, January 1, 2012

An Epic Music Monday Sunday: Carmina Burana

I hope that 2012 will be an interesting, happy and a productive year for everyone who reads this blog. I hope that this first piece of music that I have selected will help you get off on the right foot in the new year.

Since 2012 is supposed to an epic year, I thought it appropriate to begin this year's first installment of my Music Monday series with a presentation of the epic Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The particular performance I have chosen is from the 50th anniversary celebration of the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira in Spain

Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936. It is based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana. Its full Latin title is 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 is part of Trionfi, the musical triptych that also includes the cantata Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite. The best-known movement is "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" ("O Fortuna") that opens and closes the piece.

Source: Wikipedia

You might want to check out this article from NPR on why the piece has remained so popular since it's introduction.

If you want to see the lyrics, and Teach Yourself Latin are good sources. 

What follows is also from Wikipedia, a listing of the structure of the piece so you can follow along with the performance:

Carmina Burana is structured into five major sections, containing 25 movements total. Orff indicates attacca markings between all the movements within each scene.
Fortuna Imperatrix MundiFortune, Empress of the World
1. O FortunaLatinO Fortunechoir
2. Fortune plango vulneraLatinI lament the wounds that Fortune dealschoir
I – Primo vereIn Spring
3. Veris leta faciesLatinThe joyous face of Springsmall choir
4. Omnia sol temperatLatinAll things are tempered by the Sunbaritone
5. Ecce gratumLatinBehold the welcomechoir
Uf dem AngerIn the Meadow
6. TanzDanceinstrumental
7. Floret silvaLatin/Middle High GermanThe forest flowerschoir
8. Chramer, gip die varwe mirMiddle High GermanMonger, give me coloured paintchoir (small and large)
9. a) Reieround danceinstrumental
 b) Swaz hie gat umbeMiddle High GermanThey who here go dancing aroundchoir
 c) Chume, chum, geselle minMiddle High GermanCome, come, my dear companionsmall choir
 d) Swaz hie gat umbe (reprise)Middle High GermanThey who here go dancing aroundchoir
10. Were diu werlt alle minMiddle High GermanIf the whole world were but minechoir
II – In TabernaIn the Tavern
11. Estuans interiusLatinSeething insidebaritone
12. Olim lacus colueramLatinOnce I swam in lakestenor, choir (male)
13. Ego sum abbasLatinI am the abbot of Cockaignebaritone, choir (male)
14. In taberna quando sumusLatinWhen we are in the tavernchoir (male)
III – Cour d'amoursCourt of Love
15. Amor volat undiqueLatinLove flies everywheresoprano, boys' choir
16. Dies, nox et omniaLatin/ProvençalDay, night and everythingbaritone
17. Stetit puellaLatinThere stood a girlsoprano
18. Circa mea pectoraLatin/Middle High GermanIn my breastbaritone, choir
19. Si puer cum puellulaLatinIf a boy with a girl3 tenors, baritone, 2 basses
20. Veni, veni, veniasLatinCome, come, pray comedouble choir
21. In trutinaLatinOn the scalessoprano
22. Tempus est iocundumLatinTime to jestsoprano, baritone, boys' choir
23. DulcissimeLatinSweetest boysoprano
Blanziflor et HelenaBlancheflour and Helen
24. Ave formosissimaLatinHail to the most lovelychoir
Fortuna Imperatrix MundiFortune, Empress of the World
25. O Fortuna (reprise)LatinO Fortunechoir

Here are other sources where you can find out more regarding this wonderful piece of music, including purchase options:

Classical Net has an excellent discussion that will help you understand the music better, including a lot of information on the background of it and a guide to available recordings of the work. 

Amazon listings (pay attention to the reviews for recommendations)

Classics Online (you'll have manually enter Carmina Burana)

Arkiv Music (at the time I searched, 81 separate recordings were available)

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