Carl Orff

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Biography

Born: July 10, 1895; Munich, Germany   Died: March 29, 1982; Munich, Germany  
Although his fame rests on the success of a single work, the famous and frequently commercially mutilated Carmina Burana, Carl Orff was in fact a multi-faceted musician and prolific composer who wrote in many styles before developing the primal, driving language which informs his most famous work. In addition to his fame as the creator of Carmina burana, Orff enjoyed international renown as the world's pre-eminent authority on children's music Read more education, his life's work in that area represented by Musik für Kinder, five eclectic collections of music to be performed by children, eventually developing into a more extensive series known as Orff Schulwerk.

Born in 1895 to an old Bavarian family, Orff studied piano and cello while still a young boy. He later studied at the Munich Academy of Music, graduating in 1914. The music that he composed during this period shows the influence of several composers, including Debussy and Richard Strauss. In 1914, Orff was appointed Kapellmeister at the Munich Kammerspiele, where he remained until joining the military in 1917. Discharged from service the following year, Orff continued to work as a conductor, accepting further positions in Mannheim and Darmstadt during the 1918-1919 seasons. Returning to Munich in 1919, Orff studied composition privately with Heinrich Kaminski while supporting himself as a teacher. In 1924, he founded the Güntherschule for music and dance with Dorothee Günther, dedicating himself to making musical performance accessible to children. Under his guidance, an entire orchestra of special "Orff instruments" was designed, enabling children to play music without formal training. The following year, Orff made three stage adaptations of works by Monteverdi. Continuing his work in the area of Baroque music, Orff became conductor of the Munich Bach society in 1930, a position he held until 1933. The experience of performing Baroque music, particularly sacred works for the stage, convinced Orff that an effective musical performance must fuse music, words and movement, a goal no doubt partly inspired by his work with the Güntherschule. Orff embodied his conception of music in the fabulously successful Carmina Burana (1937), which in many ways defined him as a composer. Based on an important collection of Latin and German Goliard poems found in the monastery of Benediktbeuren, this work exemplifies Orff's search for an idiom that would reveal the elemental power of music, allowing the listener to experience music as a overwhelming, primitive force. Goliard poetry, which not only celebrates love and wine, but also pokes fun at the clergy, perfectly suited Orff's desire to create a musical work appealing to a fundamental musicality that, as he believed, every human being possesses. Eschewing melodic development and harmonic complexity, and articulating his musical ideas through basic sonorities and easily discernible rhythmic patterns, Orff created an idiom which many found irresistible. The perceived "primitivism" of Carmina burana notwithstanding, Orff believed that the profound appeal of music is not merely physical. This belief is reflected by many other works, including musical dramas based on Greek tragedies, namely, Antigonae (1949), Oedipus der Tyrann (1959), and Prometheus (1966). These works, as well as some compositions on Christian themes, followed the composer's established dramatic and compositional techniques, but failed to repeat the tremendous success of Carmina burana. His last work, De temporum fine comoedia (A Comedy About the End of Time) premiered at the 1973 Salzburg Festival. Nine years later, Carl Orff died in Munich, where he had spent his entire life. Read less
Carl Orff: Antigonae / Sawallisch, Modl, Radev, Dooley, Kuen, Uhl
Release Date: 03/30/2010   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 9066   Number of Discs: 2
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Orff: Carmina Burana / Hickox, London SO
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5067   Number of Discs: 1
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Günther Wand Edition - Orff: Carmina Burana
Release Date: 07/19/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 5005   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 201-225 of 235 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Basic 100 Vol 60 - Orff: Carmina Burana / Mata, Aler, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68085 Release Date: 05/09/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  John Aler,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  St. Paul's Cathedral Boy's Choir
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  • 202.
    Orff: Die Kluge, Der Mond / Eichhorn, Popp, Stewart , Munich Radio Symphony
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 124792 Release Date: 04/24/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Thomas Stewart,  Gottlob Frick,  John van Kesteren
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 203.
    Opera's Greatest Drinking Songs
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68095 Release Date: 04/11/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Kurt Rydl,  Peter Seiffert,  Walter Berry,  René Kollo  ... 
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski,  Jaroslav Krombholc,  James Levine,  Werner Schmidt-Bölke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 204.
    Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4107 Release Date: 02/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Conductor:  Kurt Prestel
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  • 205.
    Orff: Trionfi / Herbert Kegel, Leipzig Radio So, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2047 Release Date: 02/13/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Reiner Süss,  Horst Hiestermann,  Karl-Heinz Stryczek,  Isabella Nawe  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Berlin Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 206.
    Classics - The Power & The Majesty / Shaw, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80397 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Hector Berlioz,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dent
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Morehouse-Spellman Chorus  ... 
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  • 207.
    Discover Classical Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550008-09 Release Date: 12/08/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Zdenek Tylsar,  Bedrich Tylsar,  Alison Crum  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Richard Edlinger,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 208.
    Movies - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66709 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  William Byrd,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Vladimir Feltsman,  Nina Stemme,  Adriana Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Leonard Bernstein,  Zubin Mehta,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Canadian Brass  ... 
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  • 209.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Previn, Bonney, Lopardo, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439950 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Anthony Michaels-Moore,  Frank Lopardo,  Barbara Bonney
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 210.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Slatkin, Mcnair, Aler, Hagegard
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61673 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Sylvia McNair,  John Aler,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Chorus,  St. Louis Children's Choir
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  • 211.
    Stockholm Philharmonic - 75 Years 1914-1989
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 421 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gösta Nyström,  Daniel-François Auber  ... 
    Performer:  Frederick Hemke,  Kerstin Thorborg,  Joel Berglund,  Harriet Selin  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  Tor Mann,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Musikaliska Sällskapet,  Stockholm University Chorus
    CD: $87.49
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  • 212.
    Eterna - Orff: Die Kluge, Der Mond / Herbert Kegel
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 06/28/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Wilfried Schaal,  Eberhard Büchner,  Reiner Süss,  Magdalena Falewicz  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Radio Orchestra
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  • 213.
    Classical Music For People Who Hate Classical Music
    Label: Classical Heritage   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 06/09/1994   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Hans-Christoph Becker-Foss,  Anna Lelkes,  Philippe Entremont,  Joseph Brezina  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Camerata Academica,  London Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 214.
    Orff: Die Bernauerin / Eichhorn, Ostermayer, Lippert, Popp
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 255912 Release Date: 04/05/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Christine Ostermayer,  Gerhard Lippert,  Lucia Popp,  Horst Laubenthal
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 215.
    Discover The Classics Volume 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550035-36 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Pachelbel,  Carl Orff,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Gilbert Rowland,  Norbert Kraft,  Klára Körmendi,  Graciela Alperyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Andrew Mogrelia,  Nicholas Ward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 216.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Mehta, London Philharmonic
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 174886 Release Date: 11/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Sumi Jo,  Boje Skovhus,  Jochen Kowalski
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Southend Boys Choir
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  • 217.
    Mad About The Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439513 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Leonard Bernstein,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Artillery Division,  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 218.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 7
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89107 Release Date: 02/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ben Bernie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul Dukas,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  André Previn,  Ray Brown,  Mundell Lowe,  Maria Lambros  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 219.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 56533 Release Date: 09/15/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Stanley Kolk,  Sherrill Milnes,  Evelyn Mandac
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Children's Chorus
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  • 220.
    World's Greatest Choruses
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61241 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Martin Luther,  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Dunn,  Thomas Pyle,  Genevičve Macaux,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw,  Richard Westenburg,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Robert Shaw Chorale  ... 
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  • 221.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Gunzenhauser, Csr Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550196 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Eva Jenisová,  Vladimir Dolezal,  Ivan Kusnjer
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 222.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Blomstedt, Dawson, Daniecki, Mcmillan
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430509 Release Date: 10/11/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Lynne Dawson,  John Daniecki,  Kevin McMillan
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
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  • 223.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60833 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Leonard Pennario,  Earl Wild,  Jane Marsh  ... 
    Conductor:  Géza Anda,  Eugene Ormandy,  Charles Munch,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 224.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Levine, Anderson, Weikl, Creech
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415136 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  June Anderson,  Philip Creech,  Bernd Weikl
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glen Ellyn Children's Choir,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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  • 225.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 37217 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Rudolf Petrak,  Harve Presnell,  Janice Harsanyi
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Chorus,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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