Friday, June 15, 2007


Ahhhh, don't we love it when everything connects? Yes, yes we do. As I've been a little, ahem, pre-occupied lately, it's become increasingly more difficult to find blog inspirations. I've also been swamped with rehearsals almost every night this week for the Nashville Symphony Chorus' production of Carmina Burana, in conjunction with the Nashville Symphony. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night.

So I figured it was time to educate the masses about this important work of the 20th century. Generally speaking, I have a distaste for most 20th century music. That's a broad, if unfair statement, but I do. However, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is one of those classic and important choral works that every lover of choral music wants to perform. Based on 13th century Latin poems covering a wide spectrum of secular topics such as love, drinking, gambling, and the fickleness of fortune and wealth, I am finally getting my chance to sing about it all tonight!

So why the wheel of fortune reference in the title? Well, as it would happen, yesterday's Clinche-A-Day from the infamous calendar was

the wheel of fortune
the agent of change in human affairs

The term refers to the goddess Fortune, traditionally represented with a wheel in her hand, which symbolizes inconsistancy.

You'll notice the image of the musical score for Carmina Burana just happens to have, oh yes, a wheel of fortune, and right smack in the middle there is the goddess Fortune. The most famous movement of Carmina Burana, the one that starts and ends the work, the one that everyone knows, just happens to be O Fortuna! Literally, oh Fortune!

Much of the compositional structure of Carmina Burana is based on the idea of the turning fortuna wheel. 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 and last poem in the work, completes the cycle, forming a compositional frame for Orff's masterpiece.

And the symetry gods are smiling down on us now, even though the Starbucks gods were not this morning when I broke down and got iced latte all over my white shirt.


Anonymous said...

too bad you didnt tell me you were in it. crazy.

MamaB said...

But I sure am glad she told daddy and I that she was in it!!!!!! It was an AMAZING performance--from the spectacular voices of the symphony chorus to the lively conductor and his splendid orchestra all decked out in their white and black. The soloists were wonderful and the crowd very appreciative of the superb performances by everyone. Thanks Amanda for the tickets and wish Laura could have been there!!!

Mary Anna said...

I'm a closet wheel watcher. I even have a Spin ID. You can make fun of me, but someday I'm going to win a bunch of money, and then you'll want to be friends with me.