from Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" to Era's "The Mass"

by Forrest Sheng Bao

I was Googling something about "Die Waffen Schutzstaffel" SS, the Armed Protective Squadron of Nazi Germany. I jumped to the Chinese Wikipedia page about SS. They mentioned a song, which was misunderstood as the song of No.1 Panzerkorp (panzer corp) of SS in World War II. The Chinese wikipedia page argues it's actually "The Mass" by French composer Eric Lévi.

So I did some more Googling. The "truth" is that Eric Levi is a member of a French band called "Era". Era release a CD in 2003 called "The Mass", which is also the name of the first song in that CD. The rhythm is from "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (O Fortuna)", which is the most famous movement in "Carmina Burana", a famous composition of Carl Orff.

So who made the lyrics? Well, Carmina Burana, is a manuscript collection of poems, found in 1803 in the Bavarian monastery in Germany. --And, those manuscript was written hundreds of years ago...So, we don't know who wrote those lyrics.

Then Carl Orff compose rhythm for those poems. And then, at the year 2003, the band Era picked the most famous movement of Carmina Burana and mixed it with some rock stuff. Then, we have "The Mass".

I went to the Amazon page of this CD and confirmed this. In track listings, it said " 1. The Mass - Era, Orff, Carl". So Era is a good band. They still put the name of Carl Orff on it.

This is absolutely a good music. If you are bored by your homework or course project, this music will definitely wake you up.

Here is a YouTube link:

Here is another music that will wake you up:
The Ride of Valkyries, the beginning of Act III of Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), part II of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner

PS: Music is a must-have of my life. I guess, one reason I have never had a girlfriend when I was in China (well, I am still a single in the US), is partially because Asian girls really do not like music. Most Asian girls think songs I like are awful, including Carmina Burana. I believe, most music I like has been or will have been famous around the world for centuries. You know Beethoven? You know Mozart? And Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" and Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" are frequently used in movies(such as "Apocalypse Now" or "Lord of the War"), commercials and re-composed by current bands. One day, a non-Asian girl said to me "I know you like Rammstein". I said, "how do you know?" She said because one day when she came to my office, my computer was playing the famous "Amerika" of Rammstein - well, don't tell me you don't know this band. Yup, I like heavy metal (like Rammstein or Die Prinzen) and New Age music(like Yanni). That's a driven reason for me to study German - I can at least understand the name of those works, from classical music to heavy metal music.

Further reading:
Carmina Burana:
Carmina Burana, composed by Orff:
Carl Orff:
Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung):
Walkürenritt(Ride of the Valkyries):

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