Luigi Nono: for a new physiology of listening

Luigi Nono: for a new physiology of listening

To mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Luigi Nono – whom we have written about in a previous article – new releases are out. Nono’s music is seduction and invitation, defining spaces through voices and opening up all-new possibilities. And this time around, it is illuminated by state-of-the-art interpretations.

In the latter sense, deserving of special attention is Volume II of Les Espaces Électroacoustiques, a project that began in 2016 by the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) at Zurich University of the Arts based on historically informed performance practices. Also of note, Marco Fusi and Pierluigi Billone’s new recording of La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura.


Les Espaces Électroacoustiques II

Masterpieces of electroacoustic music – presented in 5.1 surround and stereo

This new release contains three works by Nono – Omaggio a Emilio Vedova (1960), La fabbrica illuminata (1964) and A floresta é jovem e cheja de vida (1965-66) – along with works by Berio, Koenig and Stockhausen, a selection of historically significant works with electronics that were originally conceived for multichannel formats and are made available for the first time in surround.

Published by col legno, both SACDs reflect key issues studied in several projects on performance practice of electroacoustic music realized at the ICST of the Zurich University of the Arts since 2012. This publication represents the preliminary conclusion of studies on the early production of composers associated with the Studio di Fonologia della RAI di Milano and WDR’s Studio für elektronische Musik at Cologne, as well as composers represented in the collection of the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel.

The album has been recently awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics' Award).


Works' details

Omaggio a Emilio Vedova
per nastro magnetico (1960)
World premiere: Roma, 1961
Duration: 5 mins.

La Fabbrica Illuminata
per soprano e nastro magnetico. Testi di G. Scabia e C. Pavese (1964)
World premiere: Venice, September 1964
Duration: 17 mins.

View score on nkoda

A floresta é jovem e cheja de vida
per 3 voci di attori, soprano, clarinetto, lastre di rame e nastro magnetico, su testi a cura di G. Pirelli (1966)
World premiere: Venice, September 1966
Duration: 39 mins.

View score on nkoda


La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura

Longtime friends and collaborators, violinist Marco Fusi and composer Pierluigi Billone explore «the fragile and microscopic world of sound» that Nono plots to an ideal path. The recording has been published by Kairos, with the support of Ensemble Vide.

«The result shows a different and unheard approach, focused on silence and minute gestures, where each instance of the work is magnified and put in a ever-changing relationship with its environment, through the constant dialogue between the tapes and the violin».



Work's details

La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura
Madrigale a più "Caminantes" con Gidon Kremer per violino solo e 8 nastri magnetici (1988)
World premiere: Berlin, September 1988
Duration: 45 mins.

View score on nkoda


Photo:Grazia Lissi