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Tchaikovsky

September 18, 2009

The Second Circle of Hell

Dante's "Inferno" tells the story of Dante's journey to hell, guided by the poet Virgil. He visits the nine circles of hell, and sees all the suffering souls there. At the second circle, a woman named Francesca da Rimini tells Dante her story of her love for Paolo, her marriage to Paolo's evil brother, and the adulterous affair that ensued. Tchaikovsky's tone poem, "Francesca da Rimini," paints vivid pictures of swirling windstorms, remembered love, and eternal, unfulfilled longing. David Robertson leads the BBC Symphony in a performance, from a recent Proms concert.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Franz Schubert
    "The Linden Tree"
    Pianist Frederic Chiu
  • Ernest Bloch
    "Prayer"
    Cellist Daniel Muller-Schott
    Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  • Peter Tchaikovsky
    Concert Fantasy in G, Op. 56
    Pianist Stephen Hough with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson
    The BBC Proms, London, England
  • Alexander Tcherepnin
    Two Bagatelles for Piano, Op. 5
    Pianist Frederic Chiu
    Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio, New York City
  • Claude Debussy
    "Sacred and Profane Dances" for Harp and Strings
    Harpist June Han with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio, New York City

hour 2

  • Paul Schoenfield
    Two Motets
    The BBC Singers with conductor Avner Itai
  • John Playford
    "Spanish Jeepsie"
    The Imago Mundi Early Music Ensemble
    George Enescu Concert Hall, Bucharest, Romania
  • Gwilym Simcock
    "Contours"
    Pianist Gwilym Simcock with the Aronowitz Ensemble
    The BBC Proms, London, England
  • Peter Tchaikovsky
    "Francesca da Rimini," Op. 32
    The BBC Symphony Orchestra with conductor David Robertson
    The BBC Proms, London, England
Program Archive



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