Purg. 2, Alison Cornish and Leonardo Chiarantini for “Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time”

“Dante has just arrived in Purgatory and runs into an old friend — but finds he cannot embrace him. The souls in this canto share a moment of nostalgia for their earthly life and affections when Dante’s friend Casella sings one of Dante’s canzoni, a poem about love. Alison Cornish and Leonardo Chiarantini explore this canto’s relationship to life in a pandemic: the experience of moving into a new state of being, with new laws, where community must be forged in new ways; the importance of thinking globally, communicating across time-zones; the longing for and the strangeness of a simple hug between friends. Lock-down is its own kind of purgatory. Every day, there are failed embraces.” But, like Dante, we move forward.”    –Katherine Travers

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

“You’re the Top” by Ella Fitzgerald

In the 1956 studio album Ella Fitzgerald Covers the Cole Porter Song Book, Ella Fitzgerald covers “You’re the Top” from the 1934 musical Anything Goes, and in the last verse sings “You’re a rose, you’re Inferno’s Dante.”

Contributed by Victoria Nicholls (The Bolles School ’22)

“Compagno di scuola” by Antonello Venditti (1975)

From the 1975 song “Compagno di scuola” by Antonello Venditti:

“E la Divina Commedia, sempre più commedia
al punto che ancora oggi io non so
Antonello-Venditti-Compagno-di-Scuola-Divina-Commediase Dante era un uomo libero, un fallito o un servo di partito, o un servo di partito.
Ma Paolo e Francesca, quelli io me li ricordo bene
perché, ditemi, chi non si è mai innamorato
di quella del primo banco,
la più carina, la più cretina,
cretino tu, che rideva sempre
proprio quando il tuo amore aveva le stesse parole,
gli stessi respiri del libro che leggevi di nascosto
sotto il banco.”

Listen to the song on YouTube.

Lyrics from AngoloTesti.

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University ’19)

Jovanotti, “Serenata Rap” (1994)

Serenata RapItalian singer-songwriter Lorenzo “Jovanotti” Cherubini‘s 1994 song “Serenata Rap” contains a famous line from Inferno V: “Amor ch’a nullo amato amar perdona”.

 

To watch the music video, click here.

To view the song’s lyrics, click here.