As a grant writer, I don’t get to write for the public very often. However, the TSO needed some extra help writing web content recently, and I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to write about Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
On the surface, orchestral music seems very “proper” most of the time—art that is produced for aesthetic enjoyment and nothing else. However, orchestral music is like any other art form, and contains many examples of the political, the extreme, and the provocative. Some well-known examples would include:
Mozart’s Leck mich im Arsch (I am also quite fond of Mozart’s “motivational” notes in the original score for his first Horn Concerto).
John Adams’ various compositions, including an opera about the Manhattan Project and another opera based on the 1985 Palestinian Liberation Front hijacking of a passenger liner.
As a musical experience, Carmina Burana is enjoyable and varied, but the fun is heightened by the fact that it is based on a historical collection of poems that are crude, satirical, and highly sexual. As a result, the source text is quite a fun read, and I enjoyed finding excerpts to feature in my blog post.
I hope you enjoy reading them too, in my post about Carmina Burana on the TSO website.