LUIGI NONO (1924 - 1990)
It was through his father’s friend, Malipiero, that Luigi Nono came to study music with Bruno Maderna and acquired an interest in the earlier music of his native Venice. He went on study under Scherchen and at the Darmstadt summer courses. A leading exponent of serialism, together with Boulez and Stockhausen, he pursued his interests in electronic music and investigations into the nature of sound. His music was strongly influenced by his political allegiance, as a member of the Italian Communist Party.
Nono’s theatre music includes the ballet Il mantello rosso (‘The Red Cloak’), based on Lorca, Intolleranza 1960, revised 10 years later, a music-theatre piece with texts drawn from various writers, and Al gran sole carico d’amore (‘In Full Sun Charged with Love’), with texts from Brecht, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Maxim Gorky, Marx, Lenin and others.
Instrumental music by Nono ranges from the 1950 Variazioni canoniche on a series by Schoenberg to works involving the use of electronics, either live or with pre-recorded tape.
Much of Nono’s vocal music is associated with his political ideas, including his 1952 Epitaph for Federico García Lorca, Il canto sospeso (‘The Interrupted Song’) on the death of European resistance fighters, and Y entonces comprendió (‘And then I understood’) in which Castro reads the words of Che Guevara.