Medieval Music for Inspiration

Tintern Abbey RuinsAt Hearts Through History’s blog, Seduced by History, this month (September 2014), Ruth A. Casie has written a post about the medieval wandering poets.

My favorite version of Carl Orff’s oratorio, Carmina Burana, that made these poems famous in our time is with Thomas Allen and Sheila Armstrong singing the leads of Blanziflor and Helena, with the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by André Previn.

During the time I was working on the Pendyffryn: The Conquerors series, I listened to CARMINA BURANA continuously, in the original Latin and Early German. For passion and romance, there is no more evocative secular Oratorio, except for the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym. “O Fortuna” was also used as part of the musical score for the film, The General’s Daughter.

Thank you for this lesson in the poetry’s origins, Ruth.

Though I have sung this oratorio with a choir and “In Trutina” is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever attempted, I’m most fond of listening to Orff’s work in its entirety. I return to listening whenever I want passionate musical inspiration.


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