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Thread: 1980-2000 Listening Group

  1. #61
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    I have a handful of Nono CD's, but this work is new to me. I listened to the recording by Arditti and Graeme Jennings that calbinpv linked to. it is an interesting work, contrasting moments of almost silence with regular higher volume parts. At times I wondered whether it would work better for me if the composer had chosen different instruments, but I realize that this is largely because I'm not a big fan of solo violin(s) without the setting in a string quartet or as a concerto. In the end, I found 26 minutes not too long, which shows that the work really grabbed my attention. It goes on my wish list to have it on CD. A good recommendation for this thread!
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I found the work hard to like. I got the sense of the ebb and flow, but without distinctive rhythms and harmonic material, it couldn't really sustain my attention. I tend to accept it for what it is to me and move on. I tried out a few other works by him, and he just isn't my thing. The only one I found more interesting is his "… sofferte onde serene …" for piano.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Luigi Nono was one of my "discoveries" in the last 2 years. This is one of the pieces that got my attention. I even bought a book, "Nostalgia for the Future" with writings and interviews. The piece is the second of 3 pieces inspired by an inscription on the wall of a cloister, he says. "Caminantes no hay casinos hay que caminar" which he translates as " Oh you who walk, who go, there are no paths, no road is shown, but you have to walk, go". He says "it's the Wanderer of Nietzsche, of the continuous search, of Cacciari's Prometeo. It's the sea on which he goes inventing, discovering the route."
    The 3 pieces he mentions are on the 2011 Kairos recording.
    I like the piece! It's calming and surprising at the same time, making a magic experience.

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    Senior Member 20centrfuge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post
    "Caminantes no hay casinos hay que caminar"
    I know this is a typo but it is a hilarious typo. I’ll loosely translate it as:

    "travellers, there are no casinos here, so you may as well keep travelling"

    Maybe that one was written, not on the wall of the cloister, but on a bathroom wall at the convenience store down the street.
    Last edited by 20centrfuge; Mar-16-2020 at 15:24.

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Autocorrect there! HAHA

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    Someone said he likes Nono's late works because they evoke images of slowly decaying ruins in his mind.
    I listened to the Arditti/Alberman recording I have. The music gives me transient, fleeting feelings. It sounds like wind blowing across an abandoned village with occasional flurry, which reminds me of some traditional shakuhachi music. The uneven, hoarse violin timbre is created by slow bowing? I saw a video presenting it as an example of bad violin playing. It is effective on this work and I think the technique is widely used in contemporary music.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    It is new to me and not very like other pieces by Nono that I know and enjoy. But on my first and second hearings it intrigued me and I certainly didn't resent the time given to it. On my third hearing I am getting more than a sense that two violins playing music that is apparently so simple/sparse are somehow yet producing music of some considerable power! I can't wait to see if this sense blossoms further.

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    The Nono drips with a sense of existential distress. This and other late Nono works strike me as existing within worlds of meditative stasis, only to be perturbed when the listener gets too comfortable. In a sense, I think Nono is creating a musical path for us only to pull it out from underneath us repeatedly. We are always walking with trepidation on unsteady ground but walking nonetheless. The two violins appear to navigate this world in an intimate togetherness, yet lacking in consonance and harmony. Many times, it is not even obvious that there are two instruments playing and that we are instead hearing a single voice of a forlorn, fractured messenger. For me, the piece is truly a masterful and unique joining of the beautiful and the visceral, the static and the dynamic. While the piece eventually faces into nothingness, it appropriately never reconciles the dichotomy, leaving it up to us to face the uncertainty of a future with no path.

    It also forms the third piece of an informal trilogy of "walks" with the first two pieces being Caminantes... Ayacucho and No hay caminos, hay que caminar... Andrej Tarkowskij. The titles originate from a paraphrased line of Spanish poet Antonio Machado: "Caminantes, no hay caminos, hay que caminar" ("traveller, there is no path, there is just walking"). They all are worth hearing. The second piece in particular pays homage to Andrei Tarkovsky and his last film The Sacrifice right before his early death. I have seen a few Tarkovsky films but not that one; however from my understanding, it deals with the profound fears and spiritual anguish of an impending nuclear holocaust. Naturally, those themes perfectly complement the internal crises of Nono's works. Additionally, there is the added eeriness of these pieces being the last ones before Nono's own death. Does anyone know if either artist had an awareness of their fate while creating their last masterworks? If not, it makes for a fascinating mystery.
    Last edited by Trout; Mar-18-2020 at 03:24.

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    Senior Member 20centrfuge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    In a sense, I think Nono is creating a musical path for us only to pull it out from underneath us repeatedly. We are always walking with trepidation on unsteady ground but walking nonetheless. The two violins appear to navigate this world in an intimate togetherness, yet lacking in consonance and harmony. Many times, it is not even obvious that there are two instruments playing and that we are instead hearing a single voice of a forlorn, fractured messenger. For me, the piece is truly a masterful and unique joining of the beautiful and the visceral, the static and the dynamic. While the piece eventually faces into nothingness, it appropriately never reconciles the dichotomy, leaving it up to us to face the uncertainty of a future with no path.
    That is some tremendous writing. So good, because it really hits the nail on the head. We are never left to get comfortable. In my own little blurb about the piece I thought about writing that it is a piece involving stasis, but I couldn't write that because there are too many jolts are pulls from the music. Your analogy of walking on an uneven path, a precarious path is spot on. I also like that you write about how the two instruments aren't really in harmony with each other but at times it is like there is only one instrument.
    Last edited by 20centrfuge; Mar-18-2020 at 03:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20centrfuge View Post
    That is some tremendous writing. So good, because it really hits the nail on the head. We are never left to get comfortable. In my own little blurb about the piece I thought about writing that it is a piece involving stasis, but I couldn't write that because there are too many jolts are pulls from the music. Your analogy of walking on an uneven path, a precarious path is spot on. I also like that you write about how the two instruments aren't really in harmony with each other but at times it is like there is only one instrument.
    Ditto.

    When should a composer decide to end a work in this vein? Nono's is ca. 25 min., and it is certainly never boring. However, the "pulling the rug from under" dynamic is established within the first 5 min. If things went on for another half-hour, how would this affect our perception of the work's quality? Food for thought.

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    Senior Member 20centrfuge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portamento View Post
    When should a composer decide to end a work in this vein? Nono's is ca. 25 min., and it is certainly never boring. However, the "pulling the rug from under" dynamic is established within the first 5 min. If things went on for another half-hour, how would this affect our perception of the work's quality? Food for thought.
    Maybe it's because my mom did cocaine while I was in utero, but I feel like a lot of music is too long. I am almost never telling myself, "if only it were a little longer..."

    disclaimer: my mom didn't do cocaine.
    Last edited by 20centrfuge; Mar-18-2020 at 06:20.

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  18. #72
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20centrfuge View Post
    Maybe it's because my mom did cocaine while I was in utero, but I feel like a lot of music is too long. I am almost never telling myself, "if only it were a little longer..."

    disclaimer: my mom didn't do cocaine.
    I feel the same way. I can sustain attention to very little music all the way through. Usually in the 3rd movement my mind is gone after listening to the opening theme or motif (which is usually repeated a lot). Only in a concert when I'm glued to a seat I can stop my mind from wandering.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member 20centrfuge's Avatar
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    Are any of you fluent in French? I started listening to the Dhomont piece. There is a lot of spoken French in it. I would love a translation. I can’t seem to find anything on the internet.

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    Senior Member SuperTonic's Avatar
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    Nono is a composer that I enjoy, but this was the first time I've heard this work. I listened to it earlier today for the first time, and then immediately listened to it again. I honestly was a little apprehensive because I don't usually like violin music with no other accompaniment, but I had no problem with this piece. I loved the barely audible bowed notes (I listened to the Arditti/Jenning recording on Youtube) and then the sudden outbursts. It created such an ethereal yet also intense atmosphere. I need to go listen to the other 2 pieces in the series as well now too.
    "The longest-lived and those who die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose." --Marcus Aurelius

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20centrfuge View Post
    Are any of you fluent in French? I started listening to the Dhomont piece. There is a lot of spoken French in it. I would love a translation. I can’t seem to find anything on the internet.
    All of the texts as they appear in the piece can be found here: https://laboiteauxparoles.com/titre/...foret-profonde. This unfortunately doesn't have the English translations, but you can use your language translator of choice to help. Note that, while the majority of the texts are French, there are also a few spoken lines in German, Spanish, and English.

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