C. Orff. “Carmina Burana“
The Summer Festival of the LVSO has already turned into a brilliant tradition of summertime. For its opening this year, maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius and Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra chose a unique work – the majestic scenic cantata “Carmina Burana” for soloists, choir and orchestra, composed by German composer Carl Orff (1895-1982). The work gained worldwide success almost immediately after its premiere. For its choral texts Orff used 24 poems from a Latin manuscript titled “Carmina Burana” (eng. “Songs of Beuern”). Discovered in the Benedictine monastery in the middle of the Alps, this literary work encompasses 245 poems and dramatic texts, written by anonymous wandering poets of the 11-13th century, who were most likely students of theology. “Carmina Burana” is satirical in nature and tells a story about the fleeting nature of success, ephemeral life, mocking earthly delights and dangers.
After the extraordinarily successful premiere of “Carmina Burana” at the Frankfurt Opera in 1937, Orff stated: “Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed. With “Carmina Burana”, my collected works begin”. Indeed, “Carmina Burana” turned into one of the most famous choral pieces of all time. Its main theme “O Fortuna”, that begins and ends this cantata, is in turn one of the most often performed musical themes in the world.