Carl Orff. O Fortuna through the ages.

Carl Orff is a composer I had never heard of until about 2003. But Orff is now a composer I am unlikely to forget. On a shopping trip with my brother one Saturday morning, we ventured to the local shopping centre. Both of us are interested in pop culture, ie music and film, so our first stop was Golden Discs – yes, it was that long ago.

My brother preferred traditional folk or Irish rock, artists like Christy Moore or U2, so he headed to that section, looking at the albums and viewing the posters. I was in the pop rock / pop section looking up the latest NOW! that’s what I call music, album.

When we got to the cash desk, I was compelled to ask the cashier about this song that was bouncing around in my brain. Not knowing the name of the song, I began humming the tune, much to the embarrassment of my brother.

The tune for this song, came from a scene in ‘The General’s Daughter’. John Travolta plays Paul, a detective who arrives to the house of a suspected murderer, played by James Woods. As the law enforcement arrive, we see Woods playing a vinyl record. It is Orff’s O Fortuna from the Italian opera Carmina Burana!

The song is a perfect choice as it builds up the tension as the Military Police  are travelling to the house and the music gets louder as they near the residence, ready to recapture their suspect.

There was no clip of this scene on youtube, so here is a clip with lyrics to the song

Other films that have used the song include, Frank Miller’s 300 (2008) and John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981).

Can you name some other films/ tv shows that this song features on? Do you have an opinion on the film or the music choice? Why not leave a comment in the section below.


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