"O Fortuna" is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the 13th century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about fate and Fortuna, a goddess in Roman mythology and the personification of luck.
In 1935–36, "O Fortuna" was set to music by the German composer Carl Orff as a part of movement "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" of his cantata Carmina Burana, which it opens and closes. It opens on a slower pace with thumping drums and choir that drops quickly into a whisper building slowly into a steady crescendo of drums and short string and horn notes peaking on one last long powerful note and ending abruptly.
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