Personalities | Luigi Nono | Contemporary | Classical
(Loo-e’-je No’-no) 1924–90
Nono studied with Hermann Scherchen (1891–1966) and through him attended Darmstadt, where met Stockhausen and embraced the principles of integral serialism, exploiting them idiosyncratically but powerfully and expressively in Il canto sospeso (‘The Song Unsung’, 1955–6), which sets the words of Resistance fighters killed by the Nazis. Nono’s political commitment was as strongly evident in his ‘scenic action’ Intolleranza 1960 (1961), a protest against racial intolerance and socio-economic injustice. During the 1960s that commitment became still more overt in works such as La fabbrica illuminata (‘The Enlightened Factory’, 1964), but later works, such as … sofferte onde serene … (1976) for piano and tape (composed for Pollini), Fragmente-Stille (1980) for string quartet, and especially his final opera or ‘tragedy for listening’ Prometeo (1984) created environments of stillness that seemed designed to reshape not so much political reality as the expressive dimensions of time and space.
Il canto sospeso, soloists, Berlin Radio Choir, Berlin PO (cond) Claudio Abbado (Sony)
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