I don’t know much about a lot of composers. In Carl Orff’s case, I didn’t know anything. Until now. Mr. Orff doesn’t sound like a great guy.

How important is it to know this? I wonder. Will I ever hear Carmina Burana and not think of what he was? I suspect so.

I know, I know, a lot of composers were scoundrels. Bad people can write good music (although I’m actually not a huge admirer of Carmina Burana). But when does one draw a line — or does one — about a composer. If Hitler had been a composer and wrote a good tune, would we play it? I rather doubt it. But he didn’t write a good tune, so that is merely a guess.

I’m just rambling, and I know this has been hashed and rehashed. But still ….


  1. One word: Wagner.

  2. And yet some of Wagner’s music hits my heart.

    I do believe, though, that God can use even the most horrible people for his purposes. Maybe I’m clueless. Maybe I’m wrong. I dunno. I’m just a silly oboe player.

    So do you like Wagner’s music? Can you get past the man? What about Orff? I seem to recall you like Carmina Burana …?

    Perhaps I’m silly to spend time wondering about all this, but I know I’m not the only one, and I know wise people even think on this sort of thing.

    Ugh. Past my bedtime. Brain is done.

  3. That’s the point. We can listen to Wagner’s music without obsessing over the man. So let it be with Orff.

  4. It’s interesting … some can listen to Wagner and some can’t. (I’m trying to remember … is he one that Mr. Lebrecht can’t tolerate. Sorry. Bad brain.)

    I don’t usually get bugged by composer’s beliefs. But I do get that way about some performers, actually. I won’t tattle here, as it seems wrong to do so, but any time I hear or see certain artists I just get a sick feeling. Go figure.