Carl Orff: Expressionist

Carl Orff
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Carl Orff (German composer and educator) passed away in 1982 at the age of 87, the same year I was born. He promoted folk music, improvisation, and theater. What follows was taken from the Library of Congress via Pomegranate Publications:

“In all my work, my final concern is not with musical but with spiritual expression,” said Carl Orff, who first gained wide attention in 1937 with his magnum opus, Carmina burana. Born into a Bavarian military family, Orff studied music from childhood and, later, composition at the Munich Academy of Music. Among the early influences on his compositions were Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. In 1924 he cofounded the G√ľntherschule, an institution devoted to exploring and teaching new correlations between movement and music. As a musical pedagogue, Orff was influential in using radio as a means of teaching musical principles and in furthering the use of folk instruments and simple improvisation in classrooms. Orff wrote primarily for the stage and conceived his works as total sensory experiences. Of these, Carmina burana, a musical celebration of love and sensual pleasure based on anonymous medieval Latin manuscripts, has become a staple of the modern repertoire.

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