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A Divine Hope

Sunday, 14 April, 2024 at 4:00 pm

A Divine Hope

Chorus of Westerley

George Kent Performance Hall, Westerly, RI, United States

Dante Alighieri’s Commedia (‘The Divine Comedy’) is considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written. Its imagery has shaped Western understanding of the afterlife for more than seven centuries, and inspired an immense body of scholarship, philosophy, art, and music. 

Telling Dante’s story, Stile Antico descends with Il Divino into Hell, journeys with him through Purgatory, and finally arrives at the gates of Heaven. Renaissance madrigals and sacred music by composers such as Palestrina, Guerrero and Morales illustrate the way, setting to music prayers which the poet features in his epic verse. Texts by Dante himself, set to music by Luzzaschi and Merulo, also narrate the story. These are punctuated by readings from the Divine Comedy. At the pinnacle of heaven we meet the Virgin Mary in Victoria’s glorious 12-part Magnificat.

Nicolas GombertMedia vita

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Peccantem me quotidie
Luzzasco Luzzaschi: Quivi sospiri pianit ed alti guai
William Byrd: Laetentur caeli
Francisco Guerrero: Vexilla Regis

Tomás Luis da Victoria: Te lucis ante terminum
Palestrina: Salve Regina
Claudio Merulo: Salvum fac populum tuum
Johannes Eccard: Übers Gebirg Maria geht

Cristobál de Morales: Agnus Dei from Missa Mille regretz
Orlande de Lassus: Beati pauperes spiritu
Cristobál de Morales:Asperges me

Anon: Venite a laudere
Merulo: Vergine, madre, figlia del tuo
Vicente Lusitano: Regina caeli a5
Tomás Luis da Victoria: Magnificat a12


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