Inferno, for Orchestra
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Inferno, Volume I of Dante Alighieri's timeless magnum opus, The Divine Comedy, persists to modern times as a work of immense imagination and philosophical poignancy. Dante, as the Pilgrim, spins in verse a massive tale wherein his fictitious self must traverse the depths of the Christian Hell with the guidance of the poet Virgil. This meditative allegory for the passage of the soul, and the nature of worldly sin, has attracted the attention of scholars and artists alike for centuries and has been the inspiration for numerous famous musical works. Dark forests, burning sands, bleeding trees, and rivers filled with muck, or fire, or ice, Alighieri's epic poem is rife with metaphors, images, and scenes that almost demand treatment as a musical narrative. Binding all of these disparate tableaus is the spiritual journey of the Pilgrim, the allegory for the passage of the self, moral conscience, and the artistic soul.