Documentary work

»Three decades of memories came together on Carl Orff’s desk [...]«[1]

During the years 1975-81, Carl Orff compiled the documentation of his musical works and his work for the Schulwerk in an eight-volume publication entitled ›Carl Orff und sein Werk‹.

Carl Orff concludes his work on the documentation of his life works with a text by Franz Werfel:

NUN KEHREN WIR HEIM, NUN KEHREN WIR EIN,
MEHR ALS DASEIN, GEWESEN SEIN,
STARK IST DER TOD, DOCH SIEHE DAS STÄRKSTE,
STÄRKER ALS TOD IST MUSIK.

[We are now returning and coming back home;
more than mere existence is having lived to the hilt,
death is strong, but behold the strongest,
stronger than death is music.]

(Carl Orff 1981)
(Carl Orff 1981)
»He was merciless in his correction of manuscripts, however careful this process was performed, and undertook all possible abridgements. Sometimes it took me a long time to come to terms with the putative losses.«[1] (Orff’s house, Dießen on Lake Ammer)
The work on the eight-volume documentation »repeatedly led to a critical reappraisal of his works. Even [...] compositions which had apparently long been completed such as the ›Bernauerin‹ and the ›Dithyrambi‹ choral movements based on Schiller texts underwent revision and were given new contours and accents to further clarify their content. His ongoing battle with the final form of his last work ›De temporum fine comoedia‹ constantly took centre stage.«[2] (Carl Orff 1975)
Hannelore Gassner was a valuable assistant from 1973 up to the death of Carl Orff. In the afterword to the eight-volume ›Documentation‹ Carl Orff writes [3]: »This work is dedicated with thanks to all my friends, helpers and assistants. It could not have been concluded without the orderly assistance of my wife Liselotte, the constant presence and untiring activity of Hannelore Gassner and the courage of my publisher Hans Schneider.«[4] (Carl Orff and Hannelore Gassner)

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[1] Werner Thomas: ›Gemeinsambrüderliches...‹. Erinnerungen an Carl Orff aus drei Jahrzehnten, in: Carl Orff. Ein Gedenkbuch, ed. Horst Leuchtmann, Tutzing 1985, p. 155/158; [2] Hannelore Gassner: Carl Orff – photographic documents from the years 1978-1981, Information sheet for the exhibition in the Orff Centre Munich from 10 July to 30 September 1990; [3] Hermann Regner; [4] CO-Dok VIII, from Plate XXVI
Images : 1 Hannelore Gassner; 2 Christa Feiler; 3 Karl Alliger; 4 Anne Kirchbach

Carl Orff talks about his documentation
(Extract from an interview on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Bavarian Radio 1975)

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