LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Prometeo.
Catalogue Number: 10J112
Label: col legno
Reference: WWE 2SACD 20605
Description: Nono's 'listening tragedy' was one of his last works, and certainly one of his most ambitious. Devoid of plot or stage action, it seeks to sum up or encapsulate western civilisation, or at least, those aspects of it that gave the composer hope of an utopian future emerging from the rubble of history and culture. The Prometheus myth is use as the central catalytic idea for this process, but the work ranges much farther in sources and the i·deas derived form them than that. Using many texts, characteristically broken into syllables which are re-superimposed and treated as discrete elements both as part of complex textures and for detailed examination in their own right, the music is complex, and in a constant state of flux; the composer's meticulous and complicated spatial requirements for the instrumental and vocal groups and their electronic doppelgangers add immeasurably to this sense of infinite multi-layering (and make a multi-channel recording like this a virtual necessity, though as with all hybrid SACDs a 2-channel version also exists on the disc). A detailed 'listening score' laying out the texts employed (without musical notation) is provided in a 116-page booklet to aid the listener's comprehension of the texts and to elucidate Nono's unique treatment of them. In its level of detail, ambition of content and range of contrast and diversity in musical terms, this is one of Nono's most fascinating scores. Texts included. Petra Hoffmann, Monika Bair-Ivenz (sopranos), Susanne Otto, Noa Frenkel (altos), Hubert Mayer (tenor), Sigrun Schell, Gregor Dalal (speakers), Solistenchor Freiburg, ensemble recherche, Soloists of the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Experimental Studio of the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung of the SWR, Freiburg; Peter Hirsch, Kwamé Ryan (conductors). SACD hybrid.