Study of the old masters

»Autumn 1921. I wanted to learn, learn, learn. This was why I continued my apprenticeship with the old masters.«[1]

From 1919, Orff worked as a freelance composer in Munich; during the following period up to 1931/32, he developed his own individual style. The composer turned his back on the musical language of Richard Strauss and studied the music of the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1921, Curt Sachs attracted Orff’s attention to Monteverdi. The arrangements of several of Monteverdi’s major compositions, beginning with Orpheus in 1923/24, were regarded as a pioneering effort from the aspects of both performance practice and musicology and had great significance for the development of Orff’s musical language.


[1] CO-Dok II,121; [2] CO-Dok II,7; [3] zitiert nach CO-Dok II,14; [4] Theodor Göllner: Carl Orff und die alten Meister, in; Bayr. Akad. d. Schönen Künste, Jahrbuch 2/1, Munich 1988, p. 245
Images : 1 Madeline Winkler-Betzendahl, German Theatre Museum; 2 CO-Dok II,201; 3 Facsimile; 4 OZM
Audio: Ferdinand Leitner - Acanta 44 2099-2

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