A Picture Worth a Thousand Words - by Rolf A. F. Witzsche


Carl Orff - Carmina Burana

The Wheel of Fortune, from the 11th-13th century 
Carmina Burana

a collection of love and vagabond songs.


Carmina Burana

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The Carmina Burana (abbreviated CB) is a manuscript scribed in 1230 by two different writers in an early gothic minuscule on 119 sheets of parchment. In the 14th century, a folio of free pages, cut of a slightly different size, was attached at the end of the text. The handwritten pages were bound into a small folder, called the Codex Buranus, in the Late Middle Ages.  However, in the process of binding, the text was placed partially out of order, and some pages were most likely lost as well. The manuscript contains eight miniatures (a term for drawings in illuminated manuscripts): the wheel of fortune (which actually is an illustration from the songs CB 14-18, but was placed by the book binder as the cover), an imaginative forest, a pair of lovers, scenes from the story of Dido and Aeneas, a scene of drinking beer, and three scenes of playing games dice, ludus duodecim scriptorum, and chess. 

Between 1935 and 1936, German composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to new music, also called Carmina Burana. The most notable movement is "Fortuna, Imperatrix Mundi (O Fortuna)" (Fortuna meaning Fortune in Latin, as well as a Roman goddess). Orff's composition has been performed by countless ensembles (see Carl Orff's O Fortuna in popular culture).

(see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmina_Burana)


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