Trionfo di Afrodite – Concerto scenico (1953)

»As always, my musical diction blossomed out of words.«[1]

In the ›Trionfo di Afrodite‹, Orff combined Ancient Greek poetry with verses in Latin for the first time. Texts from Catullus’ Wedding Poems provide the underlying structure into which fragments from Sappho are inserted in the manner of inlays.

Inspired by the vocal richness of the Greek language, a new melian style with increased expressivity is created. Against the extremely sparse instrumentation, the vocal parts articulate the tonal particles of the language.

 

(›Trionfo di Afrodite‹, final chorus)
(Poster Trionfi, 1953)
(Stage photo of the first performance 1953)

 

In contrast, the Latin texts are set to primarily structured tonal blocks over held notes or rhythmical ostinati. These are a clear indication that Orff has in this work freed himself decisively from the tonic-dominant system and avoids all harmonic foundations; there is no particular diatonic key within the work. This is also the last of Orff’s works to utilise a complete string section.[1]

______________________________________

[1] CO IV,147; [2] Werner Thomas in: Pipers Enzyklopädie des Musiktheaters, Band 4, München 1991, S.581 ff.
Aus.: 1 Carl Orff »Ein Bericht in Wort und Bild«, B. Schott`s Söhne Mainz, 1955, S.77; 2 Dok. Bd. IV, S. 17 J;3  Madeline Winkler-Betzendahl, Deutsches Theatermuseum
Audio: Muhai Tang - WER 6275-2

AUDIO:
Claustra pandite

First performance

Plot