Happy Saint Valentine’s Day

In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, I wanted to post these three excerpts that capture exquisitely (for me) the transcendent and healing power of love.  They are Carl Orff, “Amor Volat Undique,” “Stetit Puella” and “Dulcissime” from Carmina Burana.

Amor Volat Unique (Love Flies Everywhere)

“If a girl lacks a man
she misses all delight;
darkest night is at the bottom
of her heart.
This is the bitterest fate.

Stetit Puella (There Stood A Girl)

There stood a maid
in a red tunic;
when it was touched
the tunic rustled.
Ai!

There stood a girl,
like a rose;
her face was radiant;
her mouth bloomed.
Ai!

Dulcissime (The Sweetest Boy)

Sweetest one! Ah!
I give myself to you totally!

While reading about Carmina Burana today, I found out that Orff intended it to be performed with choreography, dance, interesting design and other stage action.  In 2009, I attended the 40th anniversary of the Oregon Country Fair.  This event was started in 1969 by Ken Kesey’s  Merry Pranksters, and runs for three days in a wilderness area of the Willamette Valley, outside of Eugene.  At this gathering of the heirs of the 1960s counter culture, 45,000 people come, many in costume, to spend three days listening to music, browsing booths where craftspeople sell their hand-made items, watching and performing music, getting massages, eating organic food, and generally being mellow.  As a stodgy, up-tight, 54 year-old guy from Washington DC, I was sucked in by the freedom and loving  atmosphere.

Here is an account written by one of the performers.

The last concert of the weekend took place in a large field at one of which was a large bandshell.  All weekend I’d listened to music of the Beatles, Grateful Dead, and folk and 60s rock and psychedelic traditions. So I was pleased to see the culminating event was to be a performance of Carmina Burana accompanied by a “Fire Choir.”  This was a group of volunteer musicians, actors, singers, acrobats and fire handlers.  It sounds a bit odd, but it turned out to be a really good musical performance (some of the vocal parts are notoriously hard to sing), and the performance at sunset with the fire handlers was, to use a 1960s term, groovy.  Here are two clips.

[Youtube=”https://youtu.be/e0nR0ZBJ_Pw”%5D

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