Riccardo Muti celebrates Dante at the Teatro del Maggio

A concert by the Luigi Cherubini youth orchestra and the Florentine Maggio Musicale choir on September 13

Riccardo Muti, Music Director © Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

The concert conducted by Maestro Riccardo Muti on September 13 in Florence will crown the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death. The concert will involve the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and the Choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The important event will unite the three “Dante” cities: the concert will also be held on September 12 in Ravenna and September 15 in Verona.

The concert programme

The programme includes a performance of ‘Laudi alla Vergine Maria’ by Giuseppe Verdi based on the text from canto 33 of Dante’s Paradise, the ‘Dante-Symphonie’ by Franz Liszt, and the first Italian performance of ‘Purgatorio’ by Tigran Mansurian, featuring the Armenian baritone Gurgen Baveyan and Giovanni Sollima on cello.

The first seven tercets of the last canto of Paradise contain Dante’s prayer to the Virgin from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the inspiration for Giuseppe Verdi’s Laudi alla Vergine Maria, performed as the opening for the evening’s programme.

There will also be Mansurian, whose delicate and eloquent compositions are often inspired by sacred music but also by popular tradition. It combines two well-known poetic pieces of Purgatory: the beginning of canto I, ‘To race now over better waves’, and the Our Father prayer with which canto 11 opens.

One of the most famous works inspired by Dante will complete the musical programme, the Dante-Symphonie that Liszt completes with a Magnificat, after having explored Hell and Purgatory, guiding our gaze towards Paradise.