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Carl Orff - O Fortuna & Fortune plango vulnera - Latin and English Lyrics

3 Views· 05/01/24
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I have come across a few translations of this that are slightly inaccurate. I decided to make my own for educational purposes.

Artwork: A winged woman holding a palm branch in her right hand and a spinning wheel with a small man perched on top in her left, walks past a globe, while a ship with billowing sails is passing by in the background; allegorical figure representing Fortune (Fortuna). A fine impression, the monogram and date (1514) under-inked and printing faintly, a small abrasion at top left corner. An engraving by Hans Sebald Beham.

Artist: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Shaw

Nam sub axe legimus, Hecubam reginam - Under the axle we read, Queen Hecuba - I wrote it down as axis as a literal translation. It is analogous to an axle in this context; one that the wheel of fortune turns on. The name of Hecuba was a suitable inscription for the axle as she was the supreme example of Fortune's malice. From being Queen of Troy, after its sack she suffered such misery; watching her sons slaughtered, as well as being taken herself as a captive of the Greeks, that the gods, out of pity, turned her into a dog.

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