Poetry and Drama

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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Work with Rudolph Kolisch on Varianti (1957) for solo violin and orchestra marks the beginning of a practice of close collaboration with performers. He develops a vocabulary of sound-complex shapes, derived from technological approaches. La terra e la compagna (1957) for soloists, choir and instruments, is his first setting of Pavese, whose poetry will remain a lifelong touchstone. Nono develops his practice of retyping, recopying and rearranging text. This is also evident in his subsequent setting of Ungaretti Cori di Didone (1958) for chorus and percussion. Developing polyphonic technique is balanced by subtle madrigalism. At Damstadt Nono speaks against chance and improvisation. He develops music-theatre ideas with Calvino and Ungaretti. Nono’s visit to the Warsaw Autumn festival of 1958 prompts Composizione per orchestra n. 2: Diario polacco ’58 (1959), in which spatial concepts, mobility of sound and filmic editing techniques become important. Helmut Lachenmann studies with Nono in Venice. Their friendship will become vital to both, despite an intervening twenty-year break. The 1960 vocal works Sarà dolce tacere and Ha venido. Canciones para Silvia extend Nono’s engagement with poetry, setting texts by Pavese and Machado respectively. Omaggio a Emilio Vedova is his first tape work, made at the Studiio do Fonologia of the broadcaster RAI in Milan. He seeks the plasticity of material and gesture of his friend, painter Emilio Vedova.

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