Carmina Burana: Cantiones Profanae (英語) ペーパーバック – 1996/6
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Sebesta has provided vivid, literal translations of composer Carl Orff's selections from the Medieval Latin poems of the Carmina Burana. These poems celebrate the universal range of human emotion and experience: passion, longing, exuberance, humor, rebellion,ennui, resignation. Now tender, now tragic; secular yet reverent; the poems of the Carmina touch the chords of our purest and darkest spirituality.
The Carmina Burana set to music by composer Carl Orff is an immensely popular part of the repertoire of symphonies and choral groups internationally. Sebesta's unique edition provides:
- a dual language edition with original Latin poems and facing English translation
- 18 medieval woodcut prints and 17 original illustrations
- facing vocabulary
- essays on medieval poetry and Latin, the selections, and Carl Orff
- text suitable for use as a libretto
- An additional literary translation by Jeffrey M. Duban
The usefulness of this book in the classroom is attested by the following: "This book was an invaluable resource to me while student teaching. . . . My pupils were third-year Latin students at a public high school. As a person who holds degrees in Music and Latin . . . I am eager to find ways to bridge the two fields in my own Latin classroom." Lisa H. Altevogt.
Judith Lynn Sebesta has written a book about the text and Orff's music, while some reviewers seem to think the book is intended for adolescents, the complexities of the questions and the illustrations suggest otherwise.
The information in the book is useful. After an overview of the Goliards and the history of the text, Sebesta breaks the Latin text up into segments. Within these segments are the Latin text with definitions, a poetic English translation, and analysis of the text and Orff's setting of the music. The final section contains an alternate English translation.
There are several great things about this book. First, there's nothing else like this out there right now, so it remains a good source. Sebesta is effective at analyzing the text and areas of special interest. The illustrations are also interesting additions, and the Latin definitions can be helpful. For these reasons, this book is recommended to anyone performing CB.
This book is far from perfect. Sebesta asks direct questions of the reader about the relationship between text and music. While this engages the reader's thought, Sebesta provides few answers, making the book less of a resource.
In addition, the book seems to have a fragmented structure. One has little idea what to expect when one turns to the next page. Moreover, the musical analysis is quite lacking.
Despite its shortcomings, this seems to be the best book out there on the subject. Hopefully there will be a Cambridge Music Handbook or a similar publication regarding CB which will be of the quality which it deserves.
The level of writing makes it appear that this book is intended for the instruction of adolescents, and considering the rather recent date of publication they would have to be remarkably atypically "innocent" for this day and age. The questions intended to stimulate discussion are embarrassingly simpleminded in many cases. It is difficult to imagine that this book wouldn't be laughed out of the classroom by most of today's students.
An appendix in the back of the book contain an acceptable translation of the Latin lyrics by someone other than the author. However, the body of the book contains the author's renderings of the Latin poems as well as her comments. What she has done to the poems is a travesty - even as "free" renderings they go way beyond what is acceptable in giving an unfamiliar audience an understanding of the originals.
This has almost nothing to recommend it - there are many that are better.