In this fantasia, Tchaikovsky presents a symphonic interpretation of the tragic tale of Francesca da Rimini, a beauty who was immortalized in Dante's Divine Comedy. In the fifth canto of Inferno, Dante the narrator meets the shade of Francesca da Rimini, a noblewoman who fell in love with the brother of her cruel husband. After the lovers were discovered and killed in revenge by the husband, they were condemned to Hell for their adulterous passions. In their damnation, the lovers are trapped together in a violent storm, whirled through the air around the second circle of Hell, never to touch the ground again. They are tormented most of all by the ineradicable memory of the joys and pleasures of the embraces they shared in life.

Librettist After Dante Alighieri
Tempo Andante lugubre—Allegro vivo
Date of composition 1876 (Autumn) in Bayreuth, Germany
Premiered 1877, February 25th in Moscow, Russia
First published 1877 in Moscow, Russia
Dedicated to Dedicated to Sergey Taneyev
Type Symphonic Poem
Tonality E Minor
Catalogue Op. 32
Approx. duration 24 minutes
Instruments Orchestra
Autotranslations beta Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: Francesca da Rimini en mi mineur, Op. 32
Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij: Francesca da Rimini in mi minore, Op. 32
Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski: Francesca da Rimini e-moll, Op. 32