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No Hay Caminos...,Hay que Caminar, Caminates...

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Disc: 1
1. No hay caminos, hay que caminar...Andrej Tarkowskij - Luigi Nono - Luigi Nono
2. Movement 1
3. Movement 2
4. Movement 3
Disc: 2
1. Caminantes...Ayacucho - Luigi Nono - Luigi Nono

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Largest Work of Nono's Last Years 3 Feb. 2009
By James S. Eisenberg - Published on
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Opinions vary greatly about the achievements of Luigi Nono's last years. The composer ultimately arrived at a style informed by live electronics, often quiet to the point of inaudibility, but peppered with sudden outbursts of extreme violence. Stereophonic effects and quarter tones also feature prominently. This style is very far from traditional classical concert music. The composer wants you to make an effort to really listen.
These last works require a lot of patience but can be very rewarding.
The CAMINANTES Cycle is the composer's last and most important achievement after the giant PROMETEO cantata. The first two works in the cycle, NO HAY CAMINOS for seven orchestral groups and HAY QUE CAMINAR for two violins have both been recorded several times before. The current performances are first rate, but don't really break any new interpretive ground. (I am at a loss to explain why the Abbado recording of NO HAY CAMINOS on Deutsche Grammophon is seven minutes shorter than the current performance. Statements by the late composer and others about the importance of hall acoustics in timing these late works don't manage to cover that much of a discrepancy.)
The real interest here must center on the first commercially issued recording of CAMINANTES....AYACUCHO (1986-87) for Alto solo, Bass Flute, Organ, semi chorus, full chorus and three orchestral groups. It is a setting of a 1584 text by Giordano Bruno in Latin. It makes a powerful and disturbing impression. As in most of Nono's works involving live electronics, the solo parts are so absorbed into the whole musical fabric that the performances can't really be critiqued in a traditional way. Although these musicians must be extremely secure technically, the old fashioned virtuosity that informed solo interpretation in this composer's early works is nowhere to be found here. It is the choral and orchestral sound that engages and dazzles. More than any other work of the late period, this one "works" in a traditional sense. The techniques may be radical, but there is an old fashioned effectiveness at work here. While I don't ever see this being programmed with the Brahms ALTO RHAPSODY, there is something boldly dramatic about the huge contrasts in volume and the brilliant orchestral and choral colors. It fascinates and never bores.
The sound recording is remarkably clear.
At thirty-four minutes and thirty-three seconds, the second disc is not generous. As many important works from all periods of Nono's output remain unrecorded and this is a pretty expensive set, it is a pity that some filler couldn't have been added.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A trio of pathless works: one for orchestral groups, one for violin duo, and one for electro-acoustic choir 13 July 2012
By Autonomeus - Published on
The late music of Luigi Nono (1924-1990), from his 1980 string quartet on through "'Hay que caminar' sognando" for violin duo of 1989, continues to be very influential in European neumusik circles. This 2-disc Kairos set from 2008 is one indication of this, bringing to light a major little-known work from 1986-87, and the Neos label has in the past year released two discs of late Nono music, including more previously unheard compositions.

The concept here is valid, putting all three of the post-Prometeo works together inspired by the Spanish phrase: "Caminante, no hay caminos. Hay que caminar." (Wayfarer, there is no path. Yet you must walk." The Kairos package is certainly impressive, with the red-and-black cover appropriate given Nono's life-long commitment to the Left. But the contents are not quite as impressive, and hence the four-star rating. All three pieces were recorded in May 2004.

No hay caminos, hay que caminar... Andrej Tarkowskij (1987 -- 24'21)
for seven orchestral groups

Emilio Pomarico leads the WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln in this excellent orchestral work. The spatial separation of the seven groups around the audience is of course lost, and would only be realized in a live performance. I find this to be a very effective late Nono piece, with a sparse, narrow band of sound centered on G. Sometimes spreading out to six octaves in vast tuttis, the music is intriguing and suspenseful, and encourages the close listening Nono sought in his low-volume epics of the Eighties. Josef Hausler's liner notes include the following fascinating insight: "The choice of the note G -- and here I take up an idea from the conductor Michael Gielen -- is perhaps secretly reflecting a connection of ideas deeply significant for Nono. The note G is called "sol" in Italian. Yet "il sol" is the sun. When understood as a byword for light, progress, freedom, revolution, this is perhaps a coded reference for ethical beliefs to which Nono held throughout his life..."

Unfortunately this is not the best performance or recording of the work, dedicated to the Russian filmmaker. Despite some flaws due to the live recording, the 1989 performance of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, led by Michael Gielen is more immediate, warmer, more dynamic and compelling.

"'Hay que caminar' sognando" for two violins (1989 -- 26'29)
Irvine Arditti and Graeme Jennings

This long, sparse, meditative violin duo has been recorded several times before. This new recording is fine, but not an improvement over earlier performances. (See my reviews of the Gidon Kremer recording reissued in the DG 20/21 series and the earlier Arditti recording, paired with the "Fragmente-Stille" string quartet of 1980).

Caminantes... Ayacucho (1986-87 -- 34'33)
for mezzosoprano, flute, small and large choirs, organ, three orchestral groups and live electronics

Susanne Otto is featured in this excellent work, with the Solistenchor Freiburg, the WDR Runkfunk Chor Koln, the WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln, and Andre Richard in charge of the Experimentalstudio des SWR's electronics. I was surprised not to see it marked as a premiere -- apparently it was previously recorded for a very obscure, limited edition label of some sort. Certainly this is the first opportunity most of us have to hear it.

Clearly this is highlight of the set. It is roughly similar to PROMETEO, but more extroverted and engaging. The lyric, from Giordano Bruno, sounds in context like an exhortation to working people not to give in, to keep up the fight:

"Do you waver, weak mind, to complete your sublime work, because the time is unworthy in which you bestow the gift?
As the swelling clouds cover the land, raise yourself, our Olympus, your head ascending clear to the Ether."

The reference to Ayacucho, the Andes city in Peru, is of particular significance given that it was the epicenter of the Maoist movement of the Eighties commonly known as the "Shining Path." As always, Nono's choral writing is sublimely beautiful. This shorter work is not any sort of radical break from the sound of the epic PROMETEO, but is well worth hearing for anyone who enjoys the late Nono.

I continue to treasure the music of Luigi Nono, early and late, as we move into ever more perilous times. Little could he have imagined the scope of the climate crisis caused by rampant capitalism!

Let us move forward on the path, making it as we go.

(verified purchase from ArkivMusic)
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