Music

»This music with its powerful and exuberant xylographic sparseness struck us like a thunderbolt…« (G. Wimberger on Carmina Burana)[1]

»... there were vehement pros and cons accompanied by passionate discussion. [...] This was something completely new, but not foreign: its elemental character was stylised which prevented a descent into simplicity and sparks were made to fly out of south German folklore.«[1] (Poster design for the world première, B. Schott´s Söhne, Mainz 1937)
(Poster for the world première of Carmina Burana)
»Carl Orff’s works since ›Carmina burana‹ (1937) represent a challenge [...]. To be somewhat hyperbolic, his oeuvre has taken up a position somewhere beyond the antitheses of avant-garde und traditionalism.«[2] (Page from autograph score ›Carmina Burana‹)
»Orff’s conception of music theatre is truly singular within the panorama of music of the 20th century.«[2] (Carl Orff 1939)
»Orff steers into uncharted territory with his Antigonae, namely with his chanted ‘sprechgesang’ and the music as an accompaniment to the plot.«[3] (Carl Orff at a reading of ›Bernauerin‹ in Munich 1975)
»The aim is not a musical work (setting) on the textual basis of a tragedy [...], but the representation of the tragedy through a musical medium.«[2] (Carl Orff in the Maillingerstraße 1936)
»After Antigonae and Oedipus, the only logical progression for me could be a work such as Prometheus by Aischylos. Here the scene of tragedy becomes an archetype for the whole world.«[4] (Carl Orff 1968)
»Neither the repetitive statics of structure nor the rigid limitation to percussive tones and declamation based on rhythmic patterns and recitation precluded highly expressive elements.«[5] (Carl Orff in his study, Maillingerstraße 16, 1936)

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[1] Gerhard Wimberger: Über Carl Orff, in: Carl Orff. Ein Gedenkbuch, ed. Horst Leuchtmann, Tutzing 1985, p. 173; [2] Stefan Kunze: Orffs Tragödien-Bearbeitungen und die Moderne, in: Bayer. Akad. d. Schönen Künste, Jahrbuch, p. 194/195 and 197/198; [3] Oscar Fritz Schuh: Carl Orff, in: Carl Orff. Ein Gedenkbuch, ed. Horst Leuchtmann, Tutzing 1985, S. 145; [4] CO-Dok VIII,9; [5] Stefan Kunze: Orffs Tragödien-Bearbeitungen und die Moderne, in: Bayer. Akad. d. Schönen Künste, Jahrbuch,  p. 202/203.
Images.: OZM, except for 3 Anne Kirchbach; 5 Klaus Redenbacher

Music

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Music theatre