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Subject: Re: On the Carmina Burana
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:04:40 +0000

text/plain (99 lines)

I find Carmina Burana undeniably dramatic and effective in 
performance--as a sledgehammer is effective. I have not found it a piece 
that rewards multiple hearings; it has moments of beauty and bombast, 
and that's pretty much it--there's not a lot of "there" there. I find 
some of Orff's other works far more interesting, but of course that's 
all my opinion.

I think the piece--"O fortuna" in particular--has suffered from 
overexposure, in its frequent use in commercials, movies, television, 
video games, etc. It has been called the "most overused piece of music 
in film history." It has also suffered, of course, from its association 
with the Nazis, and to be honest I cannot say how much of my disdain is 
rooted in that connection.

------ Original Message ------
From: "RAYMOND GOUIN" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2/26/2018 5:37:50 PM
Subject: Re: On the Carmina Burana

>I "discovered" Carmina Burana in my college freshman year.  Instantly 
>became enamored of it than gradually grew tired of it.  Now, almost 
>some sixty years later, I will listen to bits of it every year or so 
>when it come across my path (but no more), in part to chuckle in 
>remembrance of my tastes at an earlier age -- it's sort of like the 
>musical equivalent of coming upon Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" for the 
>first time.  It is a right of passage.
>On its own, it is a brash, ribald, noisy, crude, vulgar work and -- as 
>such -- totally appropriate for its subject matter and the period 
>portrayed.  In that respect, Orff was a brilliant composer.
>Many years ago, I dimly remember seeing a staged version of the work 
>which left me with the impression that it was better left as an 
>unembellished concert piece.  It was part OF a double bill with a de 
>Falla piece if memory serves me right.  But Angelo, who has a much 
>better memory than I, can clarify the same.
>Best from Boston.
>Ray Gouin
>>On February 26, 2018 at 4:49 PM Robert Thomson 
>><[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>Re. Estelle's negative opinion of Carmina Burana I have to say I see 
>>very differently.
>>It has power, mystery, charisma, urgency, sudden and dramatic changes 
>>and tempo, and I don't know what all.  However one describes it, it is
>>like no other music that I have ever heard. You only have to hear a 
>>bars to know
>>what's playing. Parts of it seem to me (and this is hard to explain)
>>Nazi, definitely Nazi.
>>I can imagine a Nazi torchlight rally with this strange music playing 
>>the background.
>>And, no, I am not a Nazi, thank you very much but I do believe we have
>>to look
>>movements like Nazi-ism square in the eye and try to understand what 
>>must have been. It's a dark kind of attraction, of course, and one 
>>a similar
>>kind of attraction, I do believe, in the fascination which many people
>>these days still
>>have with guns and weapons of destruction.
>>Robert Thomson (

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