Carl Orff – O Fortuna – Latin and English Lyrics

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Take a listen to this massively powerful music – heavily linked to Templar imagery and mythology.


“O Fortuna” in the Carmina Burana manuscript (Bavarian State Library; The poem occupies the last six lines on the page, along with the overrun at bottom right.

O Fortuna” is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the 13th century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about Fortuna, the inexorable fate that rules both gods and men in Roman and Greek mythology.

In 1935–36, “O Fortuna” was set to music by German composer Carl Orff as a part of “Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi“, the opening and closing movement of his cantataCarmina Burana. It was first staged by the Frankfurt Opera on 8 June 1937.

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