Skip to page content

Carl Orff


About this Artist

Born:  1895, Munich, GermanyDied:  1982, Munich

"Melody and speech belong together. I reject the idea of a pure music."

After military service in World War I, Orff was a theater conductor in Mannheim and Darmstadt, and "total theater" would be the goal of most of his compositions. He wrote a number of musical plays, opera-ballets, scenic cantatas, and similar mixed forms, reviving the style of early music, refreshed with sharply accented rhythmic patterns and pungent counterpoint. He was also a vastly influential music educator, creating training methods and simplified percussion instruments for elementary school children.

Further listening:

Catulli Carmina (scenic cantata, 1943)Leipzig Radio Symphony, Kegel (Berlin Classics)

Antigonae (opera, 1949)Bavarian State Opera, Solti (Orfeo)