Carmina Burana (IPA: ['karmɪna bu'raːna]; note that the stress is on the first syllable of Carmina, not the second) also known as the Burana Codex is a manuscript collection, now in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, of more than 1000 poems and songs written in the early 13th century.
The Latin title Carmina Burana or Songs of Beuern was assigned by Johann Andreas Schmeller in 1847. Beuern (from OHG bur = "small house") refers to Benediktbeuern, a village in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps about thirty miles south of Munich which takes its name from the abbey of Benediktbeuern founded there in 733. Subsequent research has shown that the manuscript did not originate there; Seckau Abbey is regarded as a likely earlier location.
The pieces are almost entirely in Latin, though not in Classical Latin meter, with a few in a dialect of Middle High German, and some snatches of Old French. Many simply are macaronic, a mixture of Latin and German or French vernacular of the time. They were written by students and clergy about 1230, when the Latin idiom was the lingua franca across Italy and western Europe for travelling scholars, universities and theologians. Most of the poems and songs appear to be the work of Goliards, clergy (mostly students) who lampooned and satirized the Church. The collection preserves the works of a number of poets, including Peter of Blois, Walter of Châtillon, and the anonymous one referred to as the Archpoet.
Between 1935 and 1936 German composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to new music, also called Carmina Burana. The most famous movement is "O Fortuna" (Fortuna meaning Fortune in Latin, as well as a Roman goddess). Orff's composition has been performed by countless ensembles.
Other musical settings include:
- Several German bands (including Corvus Corax, Estampie, Finisterra, Helium Vola, In Extremo, and Qntal) regularly use poems from the manuscript as lyrics.
- Swedish symphonic metal band Therion played O Fortuna on album Deggial.
- German band Corvus Corax recorded "Cantus Buranus", a full-length opera set to the original Carmina Burana manuscript in 2005.
- The RPG videogame Final Fantasy VII's most famous musical piece, "One-Winged Angel" (composed by Nobuo Uematsu), utilizes lyrics from Carmina Burana (specifically from "O Fortuna", "Estuans interius", "Veni, veni, venias", and "Ave formosissima.").
- Pieces by German/Norwegian doom/gothic metal band Theatre of Tragedy, such as "Amor Volat Undique" and "Circa Mea Pectora" in the song Venus (album Aégis)
- Synth/Medieval, French band Era recorded a Mix called "The Mass" featuring pieces of "O Fortuna" from the original Carmina Burana.
- Pieces by the Norwegian gothic metal musical group Tristania ("Wormwood" from album "World Of Glass" 2001)
- Pieces by the Swedish medieval inspired band "Rävspel och Kråksång" translated into Swedish.
- The manuscript is referred to in the musical RENT, in the song La Vie Boheme, with the line, "German wine, turpentine, Gertrude Stein, Antonioni, Bertolucci, Kurosawa, Carmina Burana."
Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff between 1935 and 1936. It is based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana. Its full Latin title is Carmina Burana: Cantiones profanae cantoribus et choris cantandae comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis ("Songs of Beuern: Secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magic images.") Carmina Burana is part of Trionfi, the musical triptych that also includes the cantata Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite. The best-known movement is the bracketing "O Fortuna" chorus that opens and closes the piece.
- 1 Text
- 2 Instrumentation
- 3 Structure
- 4 Musical style
- 5 Staging
- 6 Reception
- 7 Notable recordings
- 8 Carmina Burana in popular culture
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
- Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi [Fortuna, Empress of the World]
- Primo vere [Spring] - includes the internal scene Uf dem Anger [In the Meadow]
- In Taberna [In the Tavern]
- Cours d'amours [Court of Love]
- Blanziflor et Helena [Blanziflor and Helena]
Much of the compositional structure is based on the idea of the turning Fortuna Wheel. The drawing of the wheel found on the first page of the Burana Codex includes four phrases around the outside of the wheel:
- "Regno, Regnavi, Sum sine regno, Regnabo" [I am reigning, I have finished reigning, I am without reign, I shall reign]
Within each scene, and sometimes within a single movement, the wheel of fortune turns, joy turning to bitterness, and hope turning to grief. O Fortuna, the first poem in the Schmeller edition, completes this circle, forming a compositional frame for the work by consisting of both the opening and closing movements.
Le chœur et l'orchestre de l'opera National de Bordeaux interpretent un extrait de "Carmina Burana" de Carl Orff, à l'occasion de l'émission "tenue de soirée" sur France 2, présentée par Michel Drucker.