American Symphony Orchestra gives rare performance of Luigi Nono’s “Intolleranza 1960” at Carnegie Hall

Posted on: February 28, 2018

“In his politics and in his music, the composer Luigi Nono favored bold moves,” writes Seth Colter Walls in Tuesday’s (2/27) New York Times. “Neo-fascist protesters demonstrated at the 1961 premiere of his opera ‘Intolleranza 1960,’ which will be given a rare performance on Thursday at Carnegie Hall … by the American Symphony Orchestra. The 75-minute work is a dizzying succession of brief, powerful scenes as a migrant worker stumbles upon a political protest that in turn delivers him to a jail where torture is routine. The American Symphony’s music director, Leon Botstein, said that Nono’s varied writing for chorus, as well as some ferocious orchestral textures, would be electrifying under any political circumstances…. Comparing Nono’s dramatization of xenophobic politics to the current debate over immigration, Mr. Botstein said, ‘Here’s this foreign worker being harassed and tortured-and we’re looking right at it.’ … Mr. Botstein seemed far less worried about whether the mainstream classical audience was still as hostile as it once was to Nono’s dissonances. ‘Modernism has left more of a residue than we remember,’ he said…. ‘The question is, will the audience be moved?’ “

Posted February 28, 2018