Talk:Carl Orff

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Catullus etc.[edit]

There should be a link from this entry to, where the roman poet who inspired Carmina Catulli is presented. Or perhaps from the page about Carmina Catulli, although that is just a stub.

necesito el texto en español Ich hatte gern das text auf deustch Ineed the scrip iin english

you speak multiple languages. good for you. you want a cookie or a medal?

His connections to the Nazis were most likely not as strong as suggested in the article. According to the German version of Wikipedia and other sources he went on to win the Bundesverdienstkreuz (1971), was buried in a semi-royal graveyard.... honours I'm sure a Nazi composer would not have recieved in modern Germany.

Like many in Germany (and trust me, I'm NOT trying to find excuses) he hardly had a choice but to do as he was told. The fate of his close friend shows what may have happened to him had he simply (for fear of his own life) refused to comply. I strongly doubt he had much in common with the ideology of the Nazis at all. Call him an opportunist or a coward but it is wrong to brand him a supporter of the Nazis as this suggests many, many evil things.

=>In this german text he is not described as a nazi, but very well as someone who cooperates to push his carrier. which means he had the choice of not doing so. (but then I must confess I'm not an expert, so I cannot judge about the quality of the linked article.) There it is also said that when he claimed to have participated in the Weiße Rose after the war, it was because before this the Americans wouldn't allow his music to be played, which means again, to cleanse his image and push his carrier.

I think you are right. The linked article refers to the work of Michael H. Kater, who wrote two articles on the subject ("Carl Orff im dritten Reich" in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte vol. 43, 1995; "Carl Orff. Man of Legend" in Kater, Composers of the Nazi Era, Oxford University Press, 2000). Kater tends to push his conclusions a bit over the top, but his research is thorough and his view on Orff's role in the Nazi-Germany is hard to invalidate. Gerrit Maas 15:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

My question is whether Wikipedia should reference such a badly written, internet article which doesn't even show its sources. Would it not be better to reference something like this - Hew 03:59, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Did Orff suck?[edit]

This article seems to have been sabotaged: "Carl Orff who sucked real bad refused to speak about his past. What is known is that" These words appear in the biography section, but do not appear when I try to edit the page. Someone may want to do something about this.  :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:55, 30 January 2007 (UTC).

Pedagogical Work[edit]

"Schulwerk" translates to "school work." "Musik für Kinder" translates to "music for children."

yea...of course...


There's this Nobuo Uematsu song in Final Fantasy VIII called (I think) Tears of the Moon that sounds A LOT like Orff's O Fortuna. I'd be surprised if Nobuo didn't do a little stealing. Anyone agree? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

If you find out, put it on the article O Fortuna.Polypipe Wrangler (talk) 15:53, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Even worse is what Aaron Copeland is alleged to have done. -- Brothernight (talk) 06:25, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Military service in WWI?[edit]

I added the category "German military personnel of World War I" yesterday, then saw this:

02:32, 31 March 2008 FordPrefect42 (Talk | contribs) (10,983 bytes) (revert - certainly not _military_ personnel, read the article)

I did read the article, and it states the following: Moser's Musik Lexicon states that Orff studied at the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. He then served in the military during World War I.

His WWI military service is referred to here and here.

It looks like he didn't join the German army immediately upon the outbreak of the war, but obv. that does not mean he wasn't in the army at all.

Was this revert made in error? KConWiki (talk) 12:13, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I admit that I misread the category as "... of World War II" in the first place. On the other hand, I think adding this cetegory would be somewhat misleading. Neither did Orff notably contribute to warfare, nor was he a volunteer member of the army. He simply fulfilled his military service, which was (and still is) mandatory in Germany, so practically every male German living at that time would have to be added to that category. Orff's short-term military service did not exceed the year of 1914 due to serious health problems. --FordPrefect42 (talk) 23:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
However, there are plenty of American baseball players (Bill Conroy (catcher)) and actors (Jack Klugman) and congressmen (Henry Hyde) whose WWII service has gotten them put into such categories, even if they didn't make out-of-the-ordinary military contributions. I'd like to put the category back. KConWiki (talk) 01:55, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Jewish Grandparent, Fascist Aesthetics, Role as Educator, Continuing Influence[edit]

I strongly wish that Phaidon would have produced a biography of Orff along the lines of their excellent treatments of other 20th century composers. Until then, it seems that Michael Kater's "The Twisted Muse"(Oxford) seems to be the best english-language resource I've found. It would be a shame if the chance to interview Orff's contemporaries has expired along with the composer.

Much of the controversy over Orff's relationship with the NSDAP seems to be answered by Kamen's assertion that he had a Jewish grandmother (mentioned in the first paragraph of "Jewish Flight and Exile" on page 105 of the softcover edition of "The Twisted Muse"). Kamen doesn't address the degree to which this was known at the time, but it seems to explain a great deal of why he would face the same "gray" categorization from both the NSDAP and, later, the occupying Allies.

Also key to Orff's legacy is the unique role his music holds in what might be called Fascist aesthetics. Of course, this is incredibly subjective, and not without its contradictions. But, in my opinion, his music has more than a few parallels to the massive scale and clean lines of Albert Speer, the epic cinematography of Riefenstahl (sp?), the neo-classical pretensions of the Italian supremacists, and other touchstones of what may be very broadly considered to be Fascist aesthetics. The degree to which these aesthetics contrasted with the anti-modern bent of NSDAP authorities also makes for an interesting discussion on its own. .

Additionally, it would be nice to see his role as an educator given more attention. Orff didn't just help establish an entirely new approach to musical education - he developed an entirely original system of modular percussion instruments and a revolutionary approach to education of the very young. Also seldom mentioned is the degree to which these two roles overlapped - the same man who created an approachable system for the young to experience music and dance also used a completely original syntax in his scoring, with use of exotic percussion instruments almost never seen in any other score. A revolutionary approach to the orchestra itself - the likes of which are possibly only found in the operas of Wagner, who takes the brass section to similar extremes as Orff takes percussion - makes for an interesting counterpart to his revolutionary approach to education.

I would also posit that the fact that the opening notes of "Carmina" have been rewritten countless times for promotional spots, films, etc, speaks to the resonance of these aesthetics in our contemporary world - one might suggest that the promotional presentations of uniforms, choreographed violence and manufactured epic quality of professional sports owes more than a little to the Fascists of the thirties, and that the fact that rewrites (or the occasional actual use of a clip) of "O Fortuna" are frequently used for this kind of subject matter is, in my opinion, interesting, even if it goes far, far beyond the appropriate subject matter for a biographical excerpt. (talk) 07:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

New film from Tony Palmer[edit]

I don't know how wide the distribution is yet, but I saw Tony Palmer's "O Fortuna! - The true story of Carl Orff and Carmina Burana" at the Barbican Centre and it's got a decent amount of information regarding his life, including interviews with 3 of his wives and his biographer. Not to editorialize too much, but the impression given in the film was that his relationship with the Nazi party was merely one of convenience (in the sense that he didn't care enough about politics to be morally for or against them). He seemed to want to avoid rocking the boat (probably especially due to his part-Jewish ancestry). - IstvanWolf (talk) 22:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article doesn't merit a B rating; it has too many basic facts about Orff missing, or sketchily covered, and is unduly focused on Carmina and his alleged Nazi connections. My full review is on the comments page; questions and comments should be left here or on my talk page.

Two abbeys confused here[edit]

The article refers to the 'Benedictine monastery of Beuron'. Beuron is a famous Augustinian monastery near Sigmaringen, but surely the original manuscript of the Carmina burana was found in the library of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria. Norvo (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

You are right. Beuron and Beuern (short for Benediktbeuern) are quite different locations. I have corrected this. --FordPrefect42 (talk) 10:07, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Great example of successful use of the wiki process! (I'd never heard of Beuron nor Beuern, and would not likely have caught that, even tho my German is good enuf for me to speculate that [B]euern is also the medieval ancestor of modern German Bayern; my sloppy Yank pronunciation may well have better matched -ron than -ern for decade after decade.)
--Jerzyt 04:12, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Military history[edit]

Why does someone think this is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject? Deipnosophista (talk) 15:32, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Also sprach Zarathustra[edit]

This article asserts that Orff wrote this piece, while all other references I have found so far within WP appear to point to Richard Strauss including the disambiguation page for Also sprach Zarathustra. I am pretty sure the record label on my old Star Wars album credited Strauss. And supposedly it was written in 1896, when Orff would have been one-year old.

Perhaps the reference to Also sprach Zarathustra ought to be removed from the Orff bio? --Grandpa jlc (talk) 06:30, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

The famous Also sprach Zarathustra is indeed by R. Strauss. Orff also wrote a piece with that name, as did a few others; see Thus Spoke Zarathustra#Musical adaptation. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:01, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

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Late then or later late[edit]

Explain, please, this sentence: "Wracked by guilt, Orff would later write a letter to his late friend Huber, imploring him for forgiveness." Did Orff not know Huber was dead? If Huber wasn't dead yet, then he wasn't "late"--unless we really mean Huber had been Orff's friend of late (or maybe that Huber never arrived on time). TheScotch (talk) 11:37, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Now changed. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:28, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Still unclear! He wrote to Huber when H was in prison or what??David Couch (talk) 05:45, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

By the implicit chronology, yes, this must have been the case. Unfortunately, both of the cited sources appear to have evaporated into hyperspace. Unless a fresh source can be found, this sentence will have to be deleted.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:24, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I have found a reasonably well-documented source and amended the text accordingly. There is a link to a PDF of that (German) source for anyone who wants more details. FWIW, I have also found several other sources reporting on Tony Palmer's biopic, which appears to have been the catalyst for some (possibly unjustified) extrapolations made by journalists reviewing the film. I suspect that the now-evaporated items from the Sunday Times and the Independent may have been of that same stripe.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:28, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Carl Orf as a Nazi and SS-officer[edit]

To: Michael Bednarek, pleae see:

  • Composers of the Nazi Era by Michael H. Kater, and Who's Who in Nazi Germany by Robert S. Wistrich for more on this. (Here's some background on Rosenberg from the transcript of his trial for crimes against humanity).
  • Warwick Thompson (from and Culture: Nazi Lies, Hate Emerge in Film About ‘Carmina Burana’ Composer (review by Warwick Thompson), Wednesday, January 28, 2009}:

"Orff in the Gray Zone" A new documentary on the subject of Orff's connections to the Nazis has come out, and this subject deserves some attention...

Tony Palmer has a new documentary about Orff's Nazi connection: "At the end of the war, a sympathetic de-Nazification officer from the U.S. told Orff that if he could prove he had actively helped to overthrow the Nazi regime and not just privately despised it, his name would be cleared as a Nazi sympathizer. He would then be allowed to collect royalties from his masterpiece.

Orff told the man he’d been a member of the White Rose underground resistance group, founded by his friend Kurt Huber. The core members of the group were executed in 1943. Orff’s de- Nazification status was changed from “gray unacceptable” to “gray acceptable,” and he was permitted to compose for public presentation.

Orff’s claim was a lie, as was his later statement that the Nazis had tried to ban “Carmina Burana.”

Starting at the end: which source claims that the "SS-Obersturmführer Karl Orf" in your link is the subject of this article, Carl Orff?
Kater's writings and its reviews are cited in the article; apparently, his assertion that Orff claimed to have been involved in the foundation of the Weiße Rose have not been verified and Kater no longer holds that view. The review of Palmer's work states, "Orff himself was never a paid-up Nazi."
As Alex Ross and others have written, Orff was certainly an opportunist and duplicitious, but more reliable sources are needed to apply the Category:Nazis to him. The other category you added, Category:SS officers, is entirely unsupported. Until you provide reliably sourced material supporting these categories, I suggest you remove them. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:55, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
PS: Following the principles of WP:BRD, I'm going to remove those categories until this discussion resolves the matter. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
No to Nazi, and absolutely no to SS. Here's Richard Taruskin's take, and an interesting piece for its own sake: Opportunist and a bit of a liar, when it suited him, but he certainly wasn't a party member. Antandrus (talk) 17:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

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Roman Catholicism[edit]

The section entitled Personal Life begins: "Orff was an observant and active Roman Catholic.[19][20]" Yet the very next sentence is: "Orff was married four times: to Alice Solscher (m. 1920, div. 1925), Gertrud Willert (m. 1939, div. 1953), Luise Rinser (m. 1954, div. 1959) and Liselotte Schmitz (m. 1960)" I'd like to point out that, especially in the days before Vatican II, it was impossible to be an "observant Roman Catholic" and be divorced even once, never mind three times.2602:306:CC3A:6860:993C:CEC4:729B:6EB2 (talk) 02:43, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Carl Orff/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 01:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 10:55, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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