Purgatory is the second part of Dante's The Divine Comedy. The listener finds the Poet, with his guide Virgil, ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on earth. There are the proud - forced to circle their terrace for eons bent double in humility; the slothful running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire.More
Heathcote Williams enters into this new translation of Dante's masterpiece with almost as much enthusiasm as did Dante himself. Whether the souls Dante meets in the Inferno are tortured by cold, fire, their own fingernails, or just longing, Williams manages to make their pain come to life. His narration is so dramatic and so individualized that it feels more like a full-cast production than a solo narration, especially with the accompanying music, which both sets the mood and provides transitions. A short biography of Dante read by John Shrapnel accompanies the production. Shrapnel's voice is full of sympathy over Dante's exile, but his primary quality as a narrator is intense clarity; he handles complex political explanations smoothly and seems at ease with the Italian.
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hands down the best reading of Dante.
- J. Glemby