About the album
Apart from Richard Strauss, Carl Orff is the most important Bavarian composer of the 20th century. Today, Carmina Burana is the most frequently performed choral work of all time, however, other works by Carl Orff have fallen into oblivion. This is most notably the case with his Greek dramas, but for his Bavarian pieces as well. Various new productions, however, are heralding a renaissance. The Darmstadt State Theatre has attended to the works Oedipus and Antigone in productions by John Dew, and he Orff Festival in Andechs under the artistic direction of Hellmuth Matiasek has broken fresh ground with new productions of Astutuli and Die Bernauerin.
Orff’s Bavarian piece is about the love affair and eventual marriage - which is not befitting their social positions - of Duke Albrecht III and Agnes Bernauer, the beautiful daughter of a barber-surgeon from the city of Augsburg. Albrecht’s father, Duke Ernst, feels that this marriage jeopardises rightful succession and has Agnes declared a witch and drowned in the Danube River. Duke Albrecht III founded the Andechs Monastery in 1455 and is buried in the conventual church where Carl Orff is laid to rest.