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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In contrast to the massive undertaking of an opera, Nono’s next project was for Pollini alone: ..... sofferte onde serene ... (1976) for piano and tape. With the death of Nono’s parents and of a child of the Pollinis, the work changed direction dramatically, taking more time. Nono and Pollini work in the studio to record detail of touch, of sound internal to the piano. Pitch material is shown to derive from the scala enigmatic used by Verdi and taught by Scherchen. Inner wave patterns produce rhythmic layers. Con Luigi Dallapiccola (1979), for the percussion group of La Scala with ring modulators (Nono’s first use of live electronics), is based on the ‘fratello’ motif from Dallapiccola’s Il Prigoniero. Nono produces two rhythm sequences that he uses for the next decade. He begins work on Prometeo. The string quartet Fragmente – Stille, An Diotima (1980) is seen by many as a turning-point in its fragmentation, quietness and absence of explicit political reference. It is shown rather to be consistent with Nono’s ethos and the changing political environment. The role of the scala enigmatica, wave structures and symmetries are explored. Silent texts are by Hölderlin, whose notebooks are an inspiration in their simultaneous presentation of multiple possibilities.

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