Sarah Brightman -- In trutina
In trutina mentis dubia
Lascivus amor et pudicitia
Sed eligo quod video
Collum iugo prebeo
Ad iugum tamen suave transeo
Music and lyrics: Carl Orff
From: Timeless (1997).
Source of the lyrics:
thanks to Carlos Edmar de Almeida Souza,
who also sent me an English translation, meant
to have an idea what the song is all about:
In my own wavering balance
Desire fluctuates with modesty
But I choose what I see
I bow my neck to the yoke
For the burden is sweeter after all
And so I take it upon me
The translation into English of this song given in the CD-booklet
of Voice of an Angel (1998)
from Charlotte Church
is very different, more concise:
I am suspended
Maggie Brouillette writes that the first translation "is actually a better
one than the last because it is not just translated words... it really gives
the true essence of the medieval Latin."
but I choose
what is before me
and take upon myself the sweet yoke.
Ron Heller informed me that "In Trutina actually comes from the
famous song cycle Carmina Burana, which is fascinating in itself,
since the original source is a set of very racy manuscripts written by
medieval monks at a monestary in Benedictburen".
Ron added that the second (simpler) translation I give
"is the one usually seen on libretti accompanying performances and
records; I assume it is provided by the owner of the copywright".
There are several web sources on the Carmina Burana and the composer
Carl Orff. An extensive source of info is for example
That web site writes the following about the original manuscript:
The title "Carmina Burana" literally means 'songs of Beuren' and was given
by Johann Andreas Schmeller to his complete edition (1847) of the poems
contained in an early 13th-century German manuscript (found in 1803) from
the Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuern, south of Munich in the Bavarian
You will find most "Carmina Burana" liner notes refer to Benediktbeuren
which is mis-spelt. This was verified in the Britannica and Hallwag's atlas
of Germany, actually published in Germany and should be reliable sources.
The reason many CDs get it wrong is that the ending "-beuren" is very common
in Germany. This one is an exception. It's about 100km from Munich, almost
due south (slightly west), and about halfway to Innsbruck.
Since then, the manuscript has been known by that title even though it is
now generally agreed that it probably did not originate in Benediktbeuern
and may have come rather from Seckau. The manuscript is perhaps the most
important source for Latin secular poetry of the 12th-Century goliardic
repertory. There are some poems in German, and several of the poems have
music written in unheighted neumes - a relatively rare style of notation at
the time. In total, the manuscript contains approximately 250 poems.
And about the composer Carl Orff (1895-1982) it says, among others:
Orff wrote a secular cantata, titled "Carmina Burana" based on the poems
from the manuscript, but did not use any of the original melodies. The poems
comprise religious, political, moral, erotic, Bacchic and Satirical verses.
When Orff discovered the Carmina Burana for himself, the poems changed his
entire career. He was past forty years old and more prominent in his native
Munich as a music educator than a composer. In writing Carmina Burana, he
found his own, unmistakable style.
His work contains driving rhythms and exultant hedonism, and brought him to
wide attention in the musical world.
The word premiere of Orff's composition was in Frankfurt am Main in 1937 and
it was a big hit, which spread to other opera houses.
For some information and full lyrics plus translations into English, see the
[now sadly enough disappeared]
Carmina Burana by
SALAT web page; SALAT being the Society
for lyrical arts in Abitibi-Témiscamingue from Canada.
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last modified: 27 May 2011