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Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage$
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Peter Brown and Suzana Ograjenšek

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558551.001.0001

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Re-staging the Welttheater:

Re-staging the Welttheater:

A Critical View of Carl Orff’s Antigonae and Oedipus der Tyrann

(p.340) 18 Re-staging the Welttheater:
Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage

Nicholas Attfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with some largely unknown works of Carl Orff (1895–1982). Specifically, it considers two dramas based on ancient Greek texts, the setting of which occupied several decades in Orff's middle age. These are Antigonae (1949) and Oedipus der Tyrann (1959), both composed after Friedrich Hölderlin's German translations of Sophocles. It shows that the distant past was a matter of considerable interest and significance for Orff. It was the imagining of this past in music that laid the bedrock of his style for much of his life; it is this that, in the main, accounts for the ‘extraordinary simplicity, even childishness’ for which he is sometimes championed and just as often ridiculed.

Keywords:   Carl Orff, Greek tragedy, Antigonae, Oedipus der Tyrann, dramas

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