Tone Poem Tuesday

What a dramatic work this is! Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini is based on a story from Dante’s Inferno, and as such, you can imagine how volatile a piece of music it is. The story being illustrated is a tragic one involving a heroine named Francesca da Rimini, who is condemned to Hell along with her illicit lover, where their torments are many and varied. It’s not hard to understand how Tchaikovsky came to relate strongly to this story, given what a disaster his own love life was. This work is powerful and illustrative, with little of Tchaikovsky’s usual, celebrated lyricism. This is a dark work and a fascinating listen.

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