Italian composer Luigi Nono, who died a couple of years ago, wrote some of the most beautiful and politically impassioned scores of the postwar period. In the last decade of his fife he lavished most of his creativity on his final opera, Prometheus, based on the myth as interpreted by philosopher Walter Benjamin, and Post-Praeludium per Donau (1987) is one of the many sketches that came out of the composition process. Written for tuba and five electronics using the timbres and pitches of ancient Hebrew chants, it demonstrates the theme of this all-European concert organized by Frank Abbinanti: how contemporary composers reshape traditional forms with new instrumental techniques. In Tellur, Frenchman and Boulez associate Tristan Murail uses the guitar–fingerboard and all–to pump up the frenzy and impetuosity of flamenco. Enek (Hungarian for song), by Briton Michael Finnissy, offers an imaginative sleight of hand on Gypsy-style violin playing, and Helmut Lachenmann’s Dal Niente (“from nothing”), I’m told, showcases the B-flat clarinet contorting fragments of medieval madrigals. The ensemble includes Abbinanti on tuba, violinist Katherine Hughes, guitar wiz Jeffrey Kust, and clarinetist Anthony Burr. Wednesday, 6 PM, 2nd floor, Goethe-Institut Chicago, 401 N. Michigan; 329-0915.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jennifer Brinkman.