fr | nl
ticketshop become a friend
Brussels Philharmonic, Vlaams Radiokoor & Kazushi Ono / Wouter Van Vaerenbergh

Carmina Burana

Brussels Philharmonic & Vlaams Radiokoor

O Fortuna!

Classical kitsch, guilty pleasure or a magisterial classic? Views on Carl Orff's globally renowned Carmina Burana may differ, but both advocates and critics concur on one point: it is a gripping work that leaves no one untouched.

Orff found the inspiration for Carmina Burana within an extensive compilation of poems dating back to the Middle Ages. The themes covered by the writers (wandering monks) are nothing short of surprising: encompassing lust, eroticism, drinking, gambling, and decadent depictions of spring. Furthermore, there are irreverent satires targeting church figures and stories that evoke the essence of traditional mediaeval mystery plays.

In just over an hour, Orff spins this compelling cosmic wheel of fortune, through three musical tableaux that depict all aspects of life. The power of the work certainly springs from the lyrics, which are raw, down-to-earth, funny and at times surprisingly confrontational and vivid. Yet, its greatest strength lies in the music itself.

Right from the outset with the iconic tones of ‘O Fortuna’, the music captivates with its forceful, rhythmic, and inspired melodies, employing a simple yet direct musical language. While comparisons can be drawn to early Stravinsky, Carmina Burana stands out as a sheer delight to sing, play, and conduct, and most importantly, to listen to and experience.

Flagey, Brussels Philharmonic, Vlaams Radiokoor

You may also be interested in: