Here is one of Luigi's more famous paintings, Refugium peccatorum:The family name derives from their feudal landownership in Santa Maria di Non, a small rural parish in the diocese of Padova. Luigi senior’s father, Francesco, was born in Bergamo, nearer Milan than Venice. He followed in the steps of his own father, a customs collector on the western border of the ex-Venetian republic, which had been an Austrian possession since the downfall of Napoleon. As Bergamo was incorporated into the new Cisalpina, the family moved back to Venice in 1849,Impett, Jonathan. Routledge Handbook to Luigi Nono and Musical Thought (Kindle Locations 722-725). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
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One of the characteristics of Venetian music, historically, revolves around the great Basilica of San Marco where composers from Adrian Willaert to the Gabrielis to Monteverdi to Vivaldi all wrote music utilizing the multiple choir stalls of the church for spacial effects. Impett comments:Mario, the composer’s father, was born to Luigi and Rina in 1890. In 1921 he married Maria Manetti – again from a historic noble family, this time Florentine. Trained as an engineer, Mario was to become chief surveyor for the Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia , the city’s major bank.Impett, Jonathan. Routledge Handbook to Luigi Nono and Musical Thought (Kindle Locations 807-809). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
Like so many composers in the first half of the 20th century (Stravinsky, for example), Nono's studies began as a law student, in his case at the University of Padova. While there, however, he read Rimsky-Korsakov's Treatise on Harmony (Rimsky-Korsakov was also Stravinsky's teacher). Nono's family was highly-cultured: he received piano lessons and his parents were both amateur musicians (his father on the piano and his mother a soprano) good enough to perform excerpts from Musorgsky's Boris Godunov at home. Nono's main music teacher was Gian Franceso Malipiero, Director of the Venice Conservatory.Venice is a city where ‘soundwalking’ has sense, where one can navigate by sound alone; a polyphony of intersecting alleys, cross-cut acoustics, sudden state changes of piazza, canal or sea, punctuated by soundmarks of church, café or ship. Echo, resonance and reverberation will become important structuring metaphors in Nono’s later technique.Impett, Jonathan. Routledge Handbook to Luigi Nono and Musical Thought (Kindle Locations 913-916). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
Let's end today's post with a clip of Malipiero's Symphony No. 3 "delle campane" written in 1945 when Nono was studying with him.Malipiero’s reputation was based equally on his work as a composer and his advocacy of earlier music, especially Monteverdi – the first modern edition of whose works he had completed in 1942 – and later Vivaldi.Impett, Jonathan. Routledge Handbook to Luigi Nono and Musical Thought (Kindle Locations 1196-1198). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.