Authored by: Jonathan Impett

Routledge Handbook to Luigi Nono and Musical Thought

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781409455974
eBook ISBN: 9780429485732
Adobe ISBN:


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Nono’s political engagement increases; he makes visits to the DDR where his friends include Paul Dessau, and now to Latin America, particularly Cuba. Per Bastiana – Tai-Yang Cheng (1967) for orchestra and tape, uses The East is Red, emerging from bands of microtonality. Contrappunto dialetico alla mente (1967–8) is a tape work using both studio recordings and field recordings from Venice. It develops Banchieri’s earlier work, and is likewise a sophisticated but affectionate social commentary. With the death of Togliatti, the PCI sought a new direction. Nono was of Ingrao’s more radical tendency. He took part in some of the many demonstrations of 1968, including that against the policy of the Venice Biennale. Soviet repression in Prague caused a rift in the PCI. Nono supported the critical voices of Il Manifesto, but decided to remain within the party. Musica-Manifesto n. 1: Un volto, del mare – Non consumiamo Marx (1968–9), for voices and tape, is seen as a response to this situation. Its LP release on ‘i dischi del sole’ reflects Nono’s engagement with new cultural dynamics. Y entonces comprendió (1969–70) reflects his experiences in Latin America and his admiration of Che Guevara. A major work for the Holland Festival in 1970, Voci destroying muros, was an aesthetic, political and critical failure. Nono misjudged his audience. Material was reused in a more conventional form in Ein Gespenst geht um in der Welt (1971). Political engagement in Italy continued with the organisation Musica/Realtà, together with his friends Claudio Abbado and Maurizio Pollini, for whom Nono wrote Como una ola de fuerza y luz (1972).

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