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Thread: music based on Dante's Divine Comedy

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    Default music based on Dante's Divine Comedy

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    Just now I'm listening to Sciarrino's Sui poemi concentrici and wondering what other music out there is based on Dante's Divine Comedy.

    I know of Liszt's Dante Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini.

    What else is there? A work of this kind of influence - especially a work of poetry - must have had a lot of great musical expressions!
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko wrote five Dante Symphonies, available on Northern Flowers in decent interpretations!

    BT-DS1+2-StPPOVV-NF.jpg..BT-DS3+5-StPPONA-NF.jpg..BT-DS4-StPPODC-NF.jpg

    /ptr
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    In Monteverdi's Orfeo, you have "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here" above the gates of hell -- and Orfeo is lead there by someone called Speranza.

    But we're scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Dante has not been a great influence classical on music IMO, popular music maybe.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Aug-14-2014 at 10:30.

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    I don't think you're into metal (me neither per se), but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante's_Inferno_(song)
    Last edited by Joris; Aug-14-2014 at 16:11.

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    Senior Member Whistler Fred's Avatar
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    François Bayle and Bernard Parmegiani pooled their considerable resources to create a setting of the Divine Comedy for narrator and electronics with Parmegiani setting the Inferno section and Bayle adapting Purgatory and Paradise. Both work have a lot of narration in French, so those who don't know the language may not get as much out of it, but the electronic sounds are facinating in and of themselves.

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    Pacini's Sinfonia Dante:


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    I haven't seen/heard it yet, but Louis Andriessen has a version:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/201...nt-achievement

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whistler Fred View Post
    François Bayle and Bernard Parmegiani pooled their considerable resources to create a setting of the Divine Comedy for narrator and electronics with Parmegiani setting the Inferno section and Bayle adapting Purgatory and Paradise. Both work have a lot of narration in French, so those who don't know the language may not get as much out of it, but the electronic sounds are facinating in and of themselves.
    I'd like to hear this - is there a recording?

    In truth, I've never read the Divine Comedy - I've tried (in English) but the poem seemed so full of references to Italian politics and history that I couldn't follow it very easily, I got through a good part of Inferno but never even broached the other two books. Given that I'm very interested in electronic music, this may be a good way to access the poem.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Aug-15-2014 at 13:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    I know of Liszt's Dante Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini.
    There's also Francesca da Rimini, an opera composed by Rachmaninov. Though rarely performed, you can find a couple of good audio recordings:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances...achmaninoff%29
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    Senior Member Whistler Fred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I'd like to hear this - is there a recording?

    In truth, I've never read the Divine Comedy - I've tried (in English) but the poem seemed so full of references to Italian politics and history that I couldn't follow it very easily, I got through a good part of Inferno but never even broached the other two books. Given that I'm very interested in electronic music, this may be a good way to access the poem.
    It has been recorded but I don't know how easy it would be to find. It looks like you might be able to order it through Discogs (link attached).

    http://www.discogs.com/Parmegiani-Ba...release/231672
    Last edited by Whistler Fred; Aug-15-2014 at 15:17.

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    Liszt wrote not only a symphony based on Dante, but a piano piece as well - Après une Lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata.

    It's widely considered to be one of his best piano works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I'd like to hear this - is there a recording?

    In truth, I've never read the Divine Comedy - I've tried (in English) but the poem seemed so full of references to Italian politics and history that I couldn't follow it very easily, I got through a good part of Inferno but never even broached the other two books. Given that I'm very interested in electronic music, this may be a good way to access the poem.
    Everybody says the Inferno is the most fun but I actually enjoyed the Paradiso the best. Maybe it was partially because I'd gotten the hang of it or something (I'd read the Inferno 3 times before I finally also read the Purgatorio and Paradiso), but partially it was because I really, really enjoyed it as a tour of the medieval cosmos. Maybe it would appeal to others who didn't enjoy the Inferno very much.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Louis Andriessen's multi-media opera La Commedia won the 2011 Grawemeyer, but it remains one of the winners I haven't been able to hear yet:

    Last edited by SimonNZ; Aug-16-2014 at 02:35.

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    A few not mentioned hitherto

    Paul von Klenau: Symphony no.4, "Dante-Sinfonie" (1913) & "Paolo & Francesca", Symphonic Poem (1913) Still under-recorded, probably due to German connections before and during WWII, this ambitious composer belonged to Berg´s circle.

    Rued Langgaard:"The Hell of Dante" for Organ (1951) & "The Fire Chambers/Flammekamrenne" for Piano (1933)

    Granados:"Dante", Symphonic Poem (1908)

    Poul Ruders:"1st Piano Sonata, Dante" (1970)

    +

    Felix Glonti:"Symphony no.6, Vita Nova" (1974)

    William Wallace:"The Passing of Beatrice", Symphonic Poem no.1 (1892)
    Last edited by joen_cph; Aug-16-2014 at 16:49.

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