July 10, birthdays of Carl Orff and Henry Wieniawski

Today’s composers are well known and their works are a bit overplayed, however, in Carl Orff’s case, he seems to have the longer lasting legacy. Orff (1895-1982) started playing piano at 5, then took organ and cello lessons. Amazingly enough, considering the power of his work, he taught himself musical composition. I chose today’s piece, “Amor Volat Undique” from Carmina Burana because of the particular version below, sung by Judith Blegen. She is one of the few performers of this piece who is able to hold the high note at the end of it for a full 30 seconds without taking a breath.

Orff’s work was not commercially successful until he wrote Carmina Burana in 1937. Unfortunately, it became popular with the Nazis who commissioned him to write music for A Midsummernight’s Dream to replace that of Felix Mendelssohn (a Jew).

After WWII, during the denazification process (the process carried out by the Allied forces after the war to rid Nazi’s from all political and other influential positions), Orff was cleared by claiming he had been part of the White Rose, a German resistance movement. However, when a friend of his who was in the White Rose was captured, the friend’s wife appealed to Orff to use his influence with the Nazi’s on her husband’s behalf. He refused, telling her he would put himself in peril by doing so. He wrote a public apology to his dead friend in 1946 for not having saved him.

Henry Wieniawski (1835-1880) was another precocious lad, becoming so proficient on the violin that at the age of 9 he was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire. He wrote two violin concertos, the Second, below, being the most popular.

Orff: Amor Volat Undique

Wieniawski: Violin Concerto in D minor(1862)

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

11 Responses to July 10, birthdays of Carl Orff and Henry Wieniawski

  1. Pingback: July 10, birthdays of Carl Orff and Henry Wieniawski — Kurt Nemes’ Classical Music Almanac | I Write The Music

  2. richibi says:

    today is also Marcel Proust’s birthday, Kurt, something I celebrate every year, tonight with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, something a friend brought over – he’d be 145

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    • kurtnemes says:

      your friend or Proust? 🙂

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    • kurtnemes says:

      Have you read “À la recherche du temps perdu” in its entirety? If so, I admire your dedication. My undergraduate degree was in French literature and in once class we had to read “Du côté de chez Swann.” My French isn’t that good anymore, but I do love les madeleines & should give it a try in English at least. À votre santé!

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  3. richibi says:

    it took me 33 years to finish <>, Kurt, page by page out loud until I could breathe it, it usually took me about five days to get it down, and every moment was an enchantment, Proust took over for me where all other philosophers had failed, delivered the ineffable, which is to say poetry, as integral to any conception of our universe, pointed out also, by demonstration, how one actually shapes, masters, one’s perceptions by finding the right words – mais il faut presque le lire en français pour bien ressentir son parfum, le jeu du subjonctif, qui nest pas l

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  4. richibi says:

    it took me 33 years to finish , Kurt, page by page out loud until I could breathe it, it usually took me about five days to get it down, and every moment was an enchantment, Proust took over for me where all other philosophers had failed, delivered the ineffable, which is to say poetry, as integral to any conception of our universe, pointed out also, by demonstration, how one actually shapes, masters, one’s perceptions by finding the right words – mais il faut presque le lire en français pour bien ressentir son parfum, le jeu du subjonctif, par exemple, qui nest pas là en anglais, est use merveille, et tout une instruction – santé, Richard

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  5. richibi says:

    écris-moi au richibi@hotmail.com, je crois que nous aurions quelques mots à nous dire, ensuite il te faudra, s’il-te-plaît, enlever mon adresse – Richard – psst: lire Proust jusqu’à l’âge de 94 ans ne serait pas un mauvais sort, le pas Proustien y serait confortable

    Liked by 1 person

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