Wednesday, July 27, 2011

O Fortuna

for the music class i'm taking i get to listen to a huge variety of music. today i listened to carl orff's "o fortuna" from carmina burana. this is a song i'm sure you've heard but not many will recognize it by name. i've heard it used in a number of movies, and really loved getting to listen to the whole thing today. it is written in latin, but i looked up the translation. it is hauntingly beautiful and i LOVE it.

Latin poem the lyrics are taken from:
O Fortuna
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.

Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis,
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis
et virtutis
michi nunc contraria,
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!

English translation:
O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
always waxing
or waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
stand malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through trickery,
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fate, in health
and in virtue,
is against me,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating string;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!

1 comment:

Paula said...

I know this so well. Carl Orff wrote it in a monastery close to Munich. At least once a year I enjoyed a live performance. Set in the monastery's garden, with the backdrop of the mountains, and in a region where people still life this passion and peasant, pain and pleasure.

If you care for another wonderful piece, this time from Spain - romantic, soothing =

I am always so happy to see you around again! Paula