Luigi Nono was born in Venice on 29 January 1924. From 1941 he took composition lessons with Gian Francesco Malipiero, which focussed on works of the 16th and 17th centuries and on the music of the Second Viennese School which was prohibited in Fascist Italy. In 1942, at the request of his family, Nono began to study law in Padua and graduated in 1946. That same year he met Bruno Maderna who gave him free composition lessons. Studying the Franco-Flemish School of composers awakened a fascination with polyphonic canon techniques. In 1948 he met the conductor Hermann Scherchen whom Nono accompanied on tour. His connection with Scherchen led to his exploration of the German music tradition; joint analyses of the works by Webern and Schoenberg increased his admiration for both composers.
In 1950 Nono first attended the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music which saw the world première of his Variazioni canoniche sulla serie dell’op. 41 di Schoenberg. By using the twelve-note series from Schoenberg’s anti-Fascist Ode to Napoleon Op. 41, Nono, a member of the Italian Communist Party since 1952, referred to its political statement. At the Hamburg performance of Schoenberg’s opera Moses und Aron he met Schoenberg’s daughter Nuria whom he married a year later. Dedicated to her is Liebeslied for mixed choir and instruments which was first performed in London in 1956. His work Incontri per 24 strumenti, premiered in Darmstadt in 1955, is characterized by the use of a complex mirror form and a twelve-note series in which the intervals diverge in a zigzag. After this work, large expressive interval leaps became a typical feature of Nono’s melodies. Possibly his best-known work, Il canto sospeso for soprano, alto and tenor solo, mixed choir and orchestra, was premiered in Cologne in 1956. In this work, Nono set farewell letters from Resistance fighter condemned to death. He intended to musicalize the texts by breaking the language up into syllables, thus making its musical content ready for composition.
In the following years, he worked as a teacher on the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and from 1960 taught in Poland, the USSR, CSSR and GDR. Omaggio a Emilio Vedova, his first electronic composition, was also written at this time. Electronic sounds play an important role in his opera Intolleranza 1960 composed in 1960/61. This piece extends the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk total artwork, or fusion of the artstotal artwork, or fusion of the arts to the contrapuntal combination of scenery, visual projections, music (including tape and loudspeaker) and space.
Despite the advanced tonal language of Intolleranza, the political message of the opera was directed not only to the bourgeois audience. To Nono, it was important that his works were adopted by all social classes: in 1962 he organized the first of many discussion concerts which featured his music. Held in Italian factories, the concerts attracted up to 5,000 visitors. To make sure that his works were understood by the Italian workers, Nono also used sounds and noises for his electronic compositions which he had recorded in factories.
His next compositions had their roots in the themes from the Holocaust, but he soon felt that the combination of political agitprop and the avantgarde idiom to be an artistic dead end and his style moved on to explore subtle sound nuances, inspired by the piano technique of his friend, the pianist Maurizio Pollini, to whom he had dedicated several works from this creative period. The exploration of the individual sound became the centre of throught during this creative period, so much so that the compositions often move on the edge of audiblity; literary and musical quotations from various sources, ranging from Hoelderlin to Verdi, form isolated tonal islands which are the result of the greatest possible concentration of the innumerable sources of inspiration. Even his most mature works follow this concept so that they lack an explicit story; one might speak of an ’invisible theatre’, the ideas of which are musicalized and which, in itself, takes place only inside the listener himself.
The motif of wandering runs like a thread through his late works: First and foremost is the exploration of the sound and the process of its generation. The wandering of the sound through space, (for example by arranging loudspeaker around a room) opens the listener up to constantly new perspectives on what can be heard. Closely connected with the aspect of wandering, is the search for constantly new sounds and perspectives of perception, the search becoming the essential goal of composing while following the aesthetic principle of constant change. Nono regarded his native and home town Venice as a symbol of such aesthetics of change. Until his death he admired its wealth of colour, the constant merging of architecture and acoustic impressions such as the ringing of bells. In contrast to the strict serialism of Karlheinz Stockhausen, he achieved the combination of great subjectivity and rigid architectonics even in his late works. In 1990 Nono received the Berlin Arts Prize for Music. He died on 8 May of the same year. - from the Schott Music website .
There're Luigi Nono's biography, discography, and lots of external links. You can search almost all the basic information about him, and to know him better.
Luigi Nono by David introduce to us very specific about Nono's life and some styles of his works. According to the article, we can know that he was studing law before composing, and he married Schornberg's daughte...
In music, he wrote lots of twelve tones, especially use mirror and electionic thing to his music. He was a very politically and musically composer.
there is also a specific explaination of his Canto Sospeso work that the relationship between twelve notes are from m2 -> M2 -> +2 -> M3 ...and keep augmenting.
---- Wu Na
Here is a link to a few pages from the book Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music During the Thaw. They detail Luigi Nono's influence on some Soviet composers.
Here we can see the politics that influenced Nono, and likewise, the political influence he had on others. Apparently, Nono was a paradox because he professed support of Communism, and yet was an avant-garde composer; such composers were usually seen as rebels and their music received no support from the Communist government. But Nono clearly saw a connection between revolutionary politics and revolutionary music, and he chastised people who supported cutting-edge politics but insisted only on listening to conservative music.
We can also see Nono's attachment to the music of Webern and Schoenberg, and can speculate about their influence on his work.
I never thought that there is Luigi Nono's page on Myspace.com . Someone might made it up but it is really useful for us to listen to some of his pieces and videos, as well as knowing his background beside on this page. Enjoy and don't forget if you guys have myspace, become a fan of Luigi Nono! =D
- Thatchatham Silsupan
Luigi Nono and Sound Sculpture
Here is a video about sound sculpture of Nono's composition. I cant find out what is his composition that is used for the experiment. What make this interesting for me is that, together with the wider range of exploration a composer explores the realm of composition, the listener actually also go in the same depth of exploration! Meaning, what composer's idea also affects how the listener perceive the music. This is the explanation of the video from youtube
"Footage used as part of an installation at the Royal, Festival Hall, South Bank, London
Resonating an anti-nutonian substance in a speaker cone playing Luigi Nono's music created sporadic organic forms evident in this silent video.
This video was projected onto a 180mm x 180mm vinyl sheet on the floor encouraging viewer interaction.
The piece is symbolic of the unpredictable nature of Nono's experimental music combining organic instruments and the harshness of digital processing technologies."
- Imma -
This is the website of the Luigi Nono foundation: Luigi Nono Archive. It was found since 1993, three year after the composer's death.
The website contains his biography, gallery, events about Luigi Nono, and the useful further links to search more about Nono.
- Akkra Yeunyonghattaporn -
Below down is a link introducing about Luigi Nono, his main master work and some biography of his own.
The following link is about one of his work. This piece was composed in 1954 for mixed choir and instruments. This five-minute work shows that twelve-tone composition, often noted for its dramatic expressionism, can also express feelings of gentle humor and tender love. The text, also written by Nono, is a love poem addressed to Arnold Schoenberg's daughter Nuria who married Nono the year after this piece was completed.
This is the link of Luigi Nono: Il Canto sospeso http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=... This is the link of Luigi Nono: Il Canto sospeso http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxA-yOypLkE Large-scale cantata "was interrupted Song" (Il canto sospeso) is one of the famous works.
The piece showed us that the innocent victims and fighters complaint the fascist atrocities.Luigi Nono want to maintain the dignity of life.
This piece, based on letters of WWII resistance fighters, introduced new choral writing techniques of word fragmentation and suspension. Nono was one of the leading serialist composers who developed the twelve-tone techniques of pre-World War II composers
This is nono's work "variazioni canoniche",I think this piece sounds very good, like a symphony. also like horror movie music.
This link is some music theroy for this piece.
Luigi Nono also done a lot of fantasy works on combine sound and image. He is really a magician of sound.
In ""A Pierre. Dell'Azzurro silenzio, inquietum (1985)"" only two musical instruments, Flute and Clarinet were used.
Luigi Nono put the moving colorful screen with this piece, created a marvelous feeling.