Carl Orff, well known to teachers for his famous school-music method, wrote at least one work that had a profound if eccentric effect on repertoire. Carmina Burana takes as its texts poems found in medieval manuscript at the monastery of Benedikt-beurern. These are made the basis of a choral and orchestral work of extreme individuality, its inspiration partly medieval and partly just Orff, whose musical language depends so much on insistently repeated patterns and melodies that embed themselves in the listener's mind, never to be dislodged. The opening will be familiar to those who have seen the film Excalibur and has proved valuable to musical editors of television promotions.
Orff: Carmina Burana, with soloists, the Slovak Philharmonic Chorus and the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) under Stephen Gunzenhauser.