Carl Orff's Masterwork

Saturday, April 25, 2020

 

Carmina Burana

Carl Orff

Saturday, April 25 • 7:30 pm

Sandra Levine Theatre
Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts & Civic Engagement
Queens University of Charlotte


Charlotte Master Chorale and Orchestra
Kenney Potter, conducting

On March 29, 1934, Carl Orff received an obscure book, whose title had happened to catch his eye in a catalog  weeks earlier He later recalled, “On opening it I immediately found, on the front page, the long famous picture of ‘Fortune with her wheel,’ and under it the lines: 'O Fortuna velut luna statu variabilis … ' Picture and words seized hold of me. […] a new work, a stage work with singing and dancing choruses, simply following the illustrations and texts, at once came into my mind. On the very same day I had outlined a sketch in short score of the first chorus ‘O Fortuna.’ ”

The book, of course, was a copy of theCarmina Burana, an anthology of medieval poetry in Latin and vernacular languages compiled in Austria around 1230.  "Carmina" means 'songs," while "Burana" is the Latinised form of Beuren, the name of the Benedictine monastery in Bavaria where the poems were discovered in 1803.

Orff selected 24 of the poems and dividedCarmina Burana  into three sections – "Springtime," "In the Tavern," and "The Court Of Love." The work begins and ends with the famous invocation to Lady Fortune: “O Fortuna,” a fatalistic chorus in praise of the cruel goddess who brings both pleasure and suffering:

Written between 1935 and 1936 for soloists, choruses, and orchestra,Carmina Burana  was originally conceived as a choreographed stage work, but is now more commonly performed concert-style.

 

2019-20 Season

Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn

Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn

The Charlotte Master Chorale celebrates the secular and the sacred with "Haydn | Brahms | Mendelssohn" on November 2-3.
Choral Transcendence

Choral Transcendence

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents "Choral Transcendence" featuring Durufle's "Quatre Motets" on January 31 and February 1.
Unity Concert

Unity Concert

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents "Unity Concert: African American Spirituals" with Special Guest Choir, Charlotte Contemporary Ensemble, on February 22.
Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana

The Charlotte Master Chorale presents Carl Orff's seminal work, "Carmina Burana" on April 25, 2020.
Mostly Motets

Mostly Motets

The Charlotte Master Chorale Chamber Singers presents "Mostly Motets" on May 28, 2020.
Considering Matthew Shepard

Considering Matthew Shepard

The Charlotte Master Chorale Chamber Chorus presents "Considering Matthew Shepard" by Craig Hella Johnson on September 21-22.