2021 – Signum Classics

1 Violin Sonata In F Major, R. 6
I. Adagio - Allegro assai
2 Violin Sonata In F Major, R. 6
II. Andante sostenuto
3 Violin Sonata In F Major, R. 6
III. Allegro con fuoco
4 Violin Sonata In F Major, R. 6
IV. Adagio ed intimo
5 A riveder le stelle, R. 8
6 Piano Trio in A Major, R. 9
I. Allegro
7 Piano Trio in A Major, R. 9
II. Allegro agitato
8 Piano Trio in A Major, R. 9
III. Tema e variazioni

In 2021, Rodrigo Ruiz made his debut in the Billboard Classical Charts with his album Behold the Stars, which quickly reached over half a million streams, positioning itself as iTunes UK No 2 Bestseller, iTunes US No 3 Bestseller, included in Apple Music’s Top 10 Albums of the Month, and given a stellar review (★★★★) from BBC Music Magazine; the album was also proposed for a nomination for the 2022 Latin GRAMMY® Awards.


The Album

The album’s title comes from the last line of Dante’s Inferno: “We then emerged to behold the stars again.” Reading this you can almost feel the freshness of freedom after the stifling pits of Hell have been traversed. The stars they emerge to behold are the ultimate goal of Dante’s journey; one he eventually reaches in Paradise. My love and fascination for Dante precede my Italian sojourn for a long, long time. So it happened that, as I was rereading Inferno’s last canto, I heard a chilling chant. That’s how A riveder le stelle, the title track of Behold the Stars, was born.

A riveder le stelle, R. 8 · English

   "The standards of the King of Hell advance
towards us; but look before us,"
said my master, "if you discern it."

   As, when a thick mist expires
or when the hemisphere of ours is night,
afar a mill appears the wind doth turn;

   I seemed to see such a structure then;
then, for the wind, I shrank back
behind my guide; for there was no other cave.

   I already was, and fearful set it in meter,
there where the shades all were covered,
and showed through as fescue in glass.

   When we had made so much ahead
that it pleased my master to show me
the creature that once had the beauteous semblance,

   before me he removed himself, and made me stay,
"Behold Dis", saying, "and behold the place
where you ought to arm yourself with strength."

   The emperor of the doleful reign
from the chest’s midpoint came from the ice.

"But the night rises anew; and now
’tis time to leave, for we have all seen."

   "Hold fast, for by such stairs,"
said the master, panting as a weary man,
"we ought to depart from so much evil."

   Then he came forth by a breach in the rock,
and laid me sitting on the rim;
afterwards he offered me his prudent step.

   I raised the eyes, and thought to see
Lucifer as I had left him;
and saw his legs held up above.

   There is a place down below, from Beelzebub remote
so much, as much as the tomb extends,
that not by sight, but by sound is known,

   of a streamlet that there descends.

   The guide and I on that concealèd path
entered to return to the clear world;
and without thought of all repose,

   we climbed up, he first and I second,
so much that I saw the beautous things
that heaven carries, through a round crack.

   We then emerged to behold the stars again.


Translated by Rodrigo Ruiz.


A riveder le stelle, R. 8 · Italian

   "Vexilla regis prodeunt inferni

verso di noi; però dinanzi mira",

disse ’l maestro mio, "se tu ’l discerni".

   Come quando una grossa nebbia spira,

o quando l’emisperio nostro annotta,

par di lungi un molin che ’l vento gira,

   veder mi parve un tal dificio allotta;

poi per lo vento mi ristrinsi retro

al duca mio, ché non lì era altra grotta.

   Già era, e con paura il metto in metro,

là dove l’ombre tutte eran coperte,

e trasparien come festuca in vetro.

   Quando noi fummo fatti tanto avante,

ch’al mio maestro piacque di mostrarmi

la creatura ch’ebbe il bel sembiante,

   d’innanzi mi si tolse e fé restarmi,

"Ecco Dite", dicendo, "ed ecco il loco

ove convien che di fortezza t’armi".

   Lo ’mperador del doloroso regno

da mezzo ’l petto uscia fuor de la ghiaccia.

"Ma la notte risurge, e oramai

è da partir, ché tutto avem veduto".

   "Attienti ben, ché per cotali scale",

disse ’l maestro, ansando com’uom lasso,

"conviensi dipartir da tanto male".

   Poi uscì fuor per lo fóro d’un sasso

e puose me in su l’orlo a sedere;

appresso porse a me l’accorto passo.

   Io levai li occhi e credetti vedere

Lucifero com’io l’avea lasciato,

e vidili le gambe in sù tenere.

   Luogo è là giù da Belzebù remoto

tanto quanto la tomba si distende,

che non per vista, ma per suono è noto

   d’un ruscelleto che quivi discende.

   Lo duca e io per quel cammino ascoso

intrammo a ritnorar 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.


Dante Alighieri, La "Commedia" secondo l'antica vulgata. II. "Inferno", a cura di Giorgio Petrocchi, Firenze, Le Lettere, 1994, voll. 4, pp. 636, 642, 628, 660 (Le Opere di Dante Alighieri. Edizione Nazionale a cura della Società Dantesca Italiana, 7) [Edizione riveduta della Società Dantesca italiana].



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