Performance Today

with host Fred Child

The Second Circle of Hell

Dante's "Inferno" tells the story of Dante's journey to hell, guided by the poet Virgil. He visits the nine circles of hell, and sees all the suffering souls there. At the second circle, a woman named Francesca da Rimini tells Dante her story of her love for Paolo, her marriage to Paolo's evil brother, and the adulterous affair that ensued. Tchaikovsky's tone poem, "Francesca da Rimini," paints vivid pictures of swirling windstorms, remembered love, and eternal, unfulfilled longing. David Robertson leads the BBC Symphony in a performance, from a recent Proms concert.