“Secular Songs of Singers and Choirs, Accompanied by Instruments and Magical Images” is the original translated title of the medieval group of songs on which Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” was based. The special presentation of the piece called “Carmina Burana Cavallo” as part of the “Orff Festival” held by Florian Zwipf-Zaharia promises to live up to the title: dressage horses from across Europe will be presented interacting as acrobatics progress very special images in the dark square of Kaltenburg Castle. The Salzburg Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Elizabeth Fox, Mendelssohn Vocal Ensemble, Tolls Boys Choir and many soloists bring world-famous tunes to life.
In his “Beurische Lieder” Orff used texts of Latin and Middle German songs from the eleventh and twelfth centuries in scenes depicting daily routine. The play consists of 24 scenes – hours of the day. To this end, Orff created a work entirely separate from the basic songs of the Middle Ages, but made use of medieval stylistic elements. The powerful and expressive setting inspires to this day – the Carmina Burana is the world’s most performed classic.
Strong photo motifs – “Carmina Burana” is especially suitable for such execution
The force of fate forms the objective framework. Within this framework, Orff addresses timeless themes of human life: in scenes titled “In the Tavern,” for example, he devotes himself to the dangers of drinking, gluttony, and lust, in the work entitled “The Court of Love Adventures” to the joys and sufferings of love. The main theme of fate continues to appear between them, for example in the idea of a roast swan about to be eaten: just snow-white and untouched, bursting with life and beauty, fate has now turned on him, slaughtered and roasted. The piece offers such strong visual motifs in several places: so it only makes sense to complete the musical with pictures. Herein lies the strength of “Carmina Burana Cavallo”, which impresses with acrobatic and fantastic formations. The roasting swan scene shows a rider with burnt wings on a white horse. Acrobat (fabric) Nicolas Elsie performs a love scene with jockey Jörg Thoreau. In the air, they merge into a couple in love.
In addition to the powerful images, the choice of horses is reason enough for connoisseurs to travel to Kaltenburg Castle. The show’s choreographer, Catherine Stolz, explains why Baroque horses dominate – they breed with slightly convex heads and rounded shapes. Due to their own strength, they are ideally suited for stunts: they can collect most of their weight on their hind legs – and master difficult characters by lightening the load on their front legs. Suitable animals are found in equine groups throughout Europe.
Catherine Stolz explains that six of the light-colored horses come from Belgium and have been trained by jockey Aesolis Desley in free dressage: Deisley sits on one of the horses only at the beginning and end of her count – among the six animals they perform routine exercises without instructions. The fact that only brooders were trained facilitated the process of taming: “Women are basically much harder,” says Stolz, “and stallions are very much controlled by testosterone.” The Belgian troops were the result of a special breed: a genetic defect was identified as the cause of the very light coat and light blue eyes and they were consciously bred. Stolz explains that the champagne tone for horses is especially popular.
The Cuadro Nuevo group prepares visitors for the evening
Five Alter Réal horses from the famous Portuguese riding school were also shown for the first time in Germany. The five Alter Reals were trained to ride the particularly challenging Garrocha. The knight holds the garusha, a long wooden stick lit on one side. Portuguese Garrocha riders, including Miguel da Fonseca – one of Portugal’s most famous showrunners – promise to put on a spectacular show with their poles blazing in the darkened arena, Stolz promised. She explains that fire plays a special role in the show, the show as a whole is a game with the elements: the element of fire is played by Garrochas, various fiery elements and a fiery show as the conclusion. Acrobatics performed in clothes represent the element of air, while horses personify the element of earth.
The beginning of the evening should indeed be one of the most important events. the group Quadro Nuevo He wants to get the audience in the mood for Orff’s wonderful yet powerful music that is easily undeniable. Tracks from the album “End of the Rainbow” will be performed with the Salzburg Philharmonic. The album combines self-written tracks by saxophonist Molo Francel with the classics of world music – often with jazz and tango influences. “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?” Composed by Charles Trinette can be found here, for Peter Crowder’s “You’re Going Through All My Dreams” or the oriental folk song “Miserlou”. The group always leaves room for improvisation. Elizabeth Fox has to react to improvisations with her huge orchestra – not that easy. But they have long been in tune with each other: in 2019 the Salzburg Philharmonic translated traditional German folk songs with Quadro Nuevo. Some numbers from the resulting album “Volkslied reloaded” will build a bridge to the rest of the show. Walter Schell’s “High in the Yellow Car” and other popular songs give a foretaste of what’s to come. As with “Carmina Burana,” something you don’t hear often is introduced: a successful new version of old German tunes.
“Carmina Burana Cavallo”Friday, August 5, 8 pm, Kaltenberg Castle, Schlossstrasse 10 in Geltendorf