Resume of the partitions

Inferno - Francesca da Rimini

(duration - text and music 16’)

« Francesca Da Rimini was married to Gianciotto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini; a physically unattractive man.

A neglected wife, Francesca took for her lover her brother-in-law, Paolo Malatesta, as handsome as he was courageous.

They both died at the point of Gianciotto’s sword when he surprised them kissing for the first time.
Paying for their guilty love, the two lovers serve their punishment together in Hell, in the circle of the lustful, whilst their murderer languishes in the innermost circle of the ‘Realm of Grief’, Caina.

In this extract from the Inferno, Dante, guided by Virgil, meets the two lost souls.  He describes the torments of love and guilt in a somber and ethereal vision of Hell.  The story is drawn from true facts which were recorded in 13th Century Tuscany.  This extract from The Divine Comedy is without a doubt one of the most well-known passages in Dante’s work.


(duration - text and music 15’30’’)

« Dante meets Beatrice again who reproaches him the dissolute life he led before his death. He had on his conscience much unfaithfulness to the lady of his thoughts. Beatrice demands that Dante confess his faults solemnly, as only on that condition will he be pardoned. Dante demonstrates great self-mockery, and shows himself at his worst, without complacency for his passion for women.


(duration - text and music 20’)

« Dante associates the image of the holy Virgin with Beatrice.  She finally forgives him his sins.
Beatrice is replaced by Saint Bernard, the Virgin Mary’s servant.  
It is Saint Bernard who will lead Dante to his holy vision. »
Dante gives a flamboyant image of Paradise verging on extremes, and madness.

Vita Nuova

(English: The New Life)
(duration - text and music 19’)

« Vita Nuova is one of the oldest autobiographic works, alternating prose, poetry and different idioms from the Peninsula.  In Vita Nuova, Dante describes how his meeting with the young Beatrice changed the course of his life.

Dante met Beatrice when she was still a very young girl, and subsequently only saw her again occasionally.

All through his writing, he relates his furtive encounters with the young woman, and his chaste and excessive love.  When Beatrice dies at the age of 24, Dante cannot accept the disappearance of the young woman.

When he finally succeeds, it is to better transcend his pain, and use it as a source of inspiration which will later become his Divine Comedy.»