, 1924-90, Italian composer, b. Venice. Nono studied with Hermann Scherchen and Bruno Maderna. He adopted the twelve-tone method of composition (see serial music
), and his first major work, the Canonic Variations
(1950), is based on a tone row from Arnold Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon.
(Nono married Schoenberg's daughter in 1955.) Reflecting his Communist views, several of Nono's works are overtly political. Examples are the cantata Il canto sospeso
(1956), to texts from letters by resistance fighters, for soloists, chorus, and orchestra and the antifascist opera Intolleranza
(1960-70). In later years Nono wrote electronic music. A Floresta é jovem e cheja de vida
(1967) is for three speakers declaiming texts expressing the struggles of Vietnamese guerrilla fighters, with clarinet, bronze sheets, and tape. The most important work of his later years was the lengthy and ambitious opera Prometeo
(1984), widely considered his masterpiece.
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