Le Stelle

for SATB a cappella was premiered by the Pacific Chorale on March 30.

Le Stelle (The Stars) is an a cappella mixed choir setting of the ending section of the final Canto from Dante’s Inferno. This brief text describes Dante and his guide, Virgil, ascending from the depths of hell (Inferno) and finally glimpsing the stars through a small opening. Musically, this setting evokes the end of the long wandering through the Inferno, with a surprising view of the stars as reward.

Lyrics:

Lo duca e io per quel cammino ascoso
intrammo a ritornar nel chiaro mondo;
e sanza cura aver d’alcun riposo,
salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo,
tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle
che porta ’l ciel, per un pertugio tondo.
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

Canto 34 – Inferno
Dante Alighieri

The guide and I into that hidden road
now entered, to return to the bright world;
and without care of having any rest
we climbed: he first, then I – so far,
through a round aperture I saw appear
some of the beautiful things that heaven bears,
where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.