Italian composer. He wrote attenuated pointillist works such as Il canto sospeso/Suspended Song (1955–56) for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, in which influences of Webern and Gabrieli are applied to issues of social conscience. After the opera Intolleranza/Intolerance (1960) his style became more richly expressionist, and his causes more overtly polemical.
Born in Venice, he abandoned law for music, and studied with Bruno Maderna and with Hermann Scherchen, who conducted his Polifonia-monodiaritmica at Darmstadt in 1951. His work was initially performed principally in Germany, and developed from serialism, in the manner of Schoenberg (whose daughter he married) to more politically committed works. Nono's earlier output included numerous orchestral works, but after La fabbrica illuminata/The Illuminated Factory in 1964, he concentrated exclusively on the electronic-vocal medium.
WorksOpera the opera-oratorio Intolleranza (1961), the opera Al gran sole carico d'amore (1974).
OrchestralVariazioni canoniche (on a theme of Schoenberg's from Ode to Napoleon), Due espressioni, Diario polacco '58; Canti for 13 instruments, Incontri for 24 instruments.
ChoralIl canto sospeso (1956), La Victoire de Guernica, Epitaph I for F Garcia Lorca, Cori di Didone; cantata Sul ponte di Hiroshima for soprano and tenor and orchestra (1962); La fabbrica illuminata for mezzo and electronic tape; Epitaphs II & III for F Garcia Lorca II for flute, strings, and percussion (II), and for speaker, speaking chorus, and orchestra (III).
Electronic and other electronic music, including Omaggio a Emilio Vedova (1960) and Sofferte onde serene (1976); Quando stanno morendo for voices and ensemble (1982).
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