Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana: Illustrated page fate wheel (Rota Fortunae)
Carmina Burana: Illustrated page in the Codex Buranus
illustration of Wurfzabelspielern from the Codex Buranus

the Carmina Burana (lat. „Beuri songs “or „songs from Benediktbeuern “) contain in the 11. and 12. Centurydeveloped song and drama texts, predominantly moral songs, Minne - and drinking songs and religious dramas (see also Vagantendichtung). Altogether the Carmina Burana contains over 240 pieces, partially with melodies.

Table of contents

emergence, Wiederentdeckung and edition of the texts

the contained texts were written down around 1230. It is assumed that this in the monastery second-chew in the Steiermark or in Monastery new pin with Brixen happened.

The Carmina Burana was rediscovered 1803 by Johann Christoph of Aretin in the monastery Benediktbeuern. In the course the handwriting , the so-called Codex Buranus, arrived to the secularization to Munich into the today's Bavarian state State of (signature: clm4660/4660a).

In central latin ( mixed beside it also with old-French and medium high-German Strophen) texts predominantly wrote by Johann Andreas Schmeller were edited and 1847 as “Carmina the Burana - songs from Benediktbeuern” given change.

With a part of the songs the Codex Buranus containsalso quotations of the melodies, however in the form of lineless Neumen, which show the melodischen process only approximately. To a part of the songs however the original medieval melodies can be reconstructed also by parallel excessive quantity in other handwriting.

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Carl Orffs Carmina Burana

Carl Orff discovered the Carmina Burana 1935 for itself and toned 24 of these texts in the years 1935/1936. It acts thereby around a complete new composition, particularly to the time of origin of Orffs workstill none of the original medieval melodies was reconstructed.

To 8. June 1937 was uraufgeführt its work in the opera to Frankfurt/Main.

Orff selected an arrangement into three parts:

  • „Primo vere “, „UF the meadow “(spring, love awake)
  • „intaberna “(Gelage opulente)
  • „Cour d'amour “and “Blanziflor et Helena “(approximation of two young humans, the dear goddess Venus)

is framed the work from a powerful choir to honours of the fate goddess Fortuna („Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi “), those the fate of humansin the long run to determine is.

After the composition of Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite Carl Orff the Carmina Burana with these summarized under the title Trionfi . Performances of the entire Triptychons remained however the exception.

further interpretations

One as Cantus Buranus well-known interpretation became 2005 of Corvus Corax under co-operation of the Philharmoni orchestra and the opera choir of the national theatre Cottbus as well as the vowel ensemble Psaltera, Prague and the choir Ivan Pl. Zajc, Zargreb brought in. 12 pieces that becameCarmina Burana, which is delivered as text only, with completely new melodies tones. There are not overlaps with the orffschen Carmina Burana in the selection of the toned texts.

Further interpretations of individual texts of the Carmina Burana, which the medieval lyric poetry alsomodern electronic melodies or skirt elements connect, find one and others at the following ensembles (selection):


  • Carmina Burana.The songs of the Benediktbeurer handwriting. Complete expenditure of the original text afterof B. Bischoff final critical expenditure of A. Hilka and O. Schumann. Translation of latin of texts of Carl Fischer, the medium high-German texts of Hugo bold. Notes and epilog of Günter Bernt. 5. Edition. Munich, dtv 1991, ISBN 3423020636
  • Carmina Burana. Texts and translations. With the miniatures from the handwriting and an essay of Peter and Dorothee Diemer hrsg. by Benedikt Konrad full man. Frankfurt A. M. 1987 (library of German classical authors), ISBN 3-618-66140-1

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