The concerts for the 700th Dante anniversary

Monday, 06 September 2021

The year of celebrations for the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death reaches its conclusion with the special concert led by Riccardo Muti, at the head of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, joined by musicians of the Maggio, and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Chorus: Sunday 12 September the event – promoted by the Municipality of Ravenna in collaboration with the Ravenna Festival and with the support of the National Committee for the celebrations – will take place at 8.30 pm in the Public Gardens, with the elegant Loggetta Lombardesca as its backdrop. The same concert – the programme includes Giuseppe Verdi’s Laudi alla Vergine Maria, Liszt’s Dante-Symphonie and the Italian premiere of Purgatorio by Tigran Mansurian, with Armenian baritone Gurgen Baveyan and cellist Giovanni Sollima – will be performed also in Florence on September 13 and in Verona on September 15, thus musically uniting the three “Dante-cities”. 

Tigran Mansurian shall attend the concert as well. Ravenna Festival asked the Armenian composer to create a new work based on the second cantica of the Commedia as a part of the dedication to Dante of the Festival’s 32nd edition. Mansurian, whose very delicate and crystal-clear style is often inspired by the sacred music but also the popular traditions, put together two well-known poetical places of the Purgatorio: the incipit of the canto I, “Per correr miglior acque alza le vele”, and the Our Father prayer opening the canto XI. The first twenty-first verses of the last canto of Paradiso – the prayer to the Virgin Dante wrote for San Bernardo of Chiaravalle – were Giuseppe Verdi’s source for the Laudi alla Vergine Maria that open the programme. One of the most celebrated Dante-inspired compositions, that Dante-Symphonie Liszt completed – after exploring Hell and Purgatory – with the Magnificat, leads our gaze toward Paradise, so closing the circle of the musical programme.