Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart

Luigi Nono: Quando stanno morendo

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Luigi Nono's vocal music is the subject of this CD, and these settings of politically relevant poetry are, interestingly, some of the most delicate and haunting works in the composer's catalog. "Ha vendido," from Canciones para silva, on a poem by Antonio Machado, is scored for seven sopranos and features eerie, crystalline harmonic effects produced by tight dissonances in an extremely high tessitura. Donde estás, hermano? was composed in memory of the "disappeared" in Argentina and is austere and somber, set for four female voices in their lowest octave and drawn out in long pitch durations. Djamila Boupachà, for soprano, on a lament by Jesús López Pacheco, is angular and anguished, and Angelika Luz conveys the piece's grief through a touching, childlike tone. Sarà dolce tacere, for eight solo voices on a text by Cesare Pavese, introduces male singers, and their rich vocal timbres are a little startling after the previous works' restriction to the treble range. Quando stanno morendo for four female voices, bass flute, violoncello and live electronics follows various texts as a soul-searing tribute to the persecuted in Poland. The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart performs Nono's music with reverence and communicates the deep gravitas that pervades Nono's late work. The performing space is highly resonant and contributes an attractive aural sheen to the singers.

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