Top 12 Reasons Why Somebody Broke into a Warehouse and Stole Hundreds of Luigi Nono CDs

Ethelbert Nevin

[November 2007.]

Hard to believe, but I’ve read reports of someone breaking into a Viennese storage facility specifically to steal the new col legno SACD recording of Nono’s Prometeo (WWE 2SACD 20605). Apparently other inventory was pushed aside in order to get at this release and several other Nono items. I’ve yet to acquire the two-disc set myself, so I have no idea what might have inspired such behavior. However, I suspect it’s a marvelous listen. With its spatialization and electronic aspects, the music’s ideally suited to surround-sound technology.

Here are some hypothetical motives behind a most curious break-in and theft. Of course I offer a dodecaphile’s 12.

12. Featured orchestral musicians afraid col legno will adopt Radiohead’s business model.

11. Followers of fellow Venetian Monteverdi have taken revenge on col legno for not releasing a tetracentenary Orfeo.

10. A 12-second tape delay was actually 12.18 seconds.

9. The bass flute part is highlighted in red instead of yellow.

8. Heinrich Strobel’s ghost holds a grudge.

7. A vain attempt by disgruntled Marxists to convert Nono’s “Tragedy of Listening” into a “Tragedy of Purchasing.”

6. Hölderlin’s descendents attempted to amend the poet’s legacy.

5. Band-pass filters were mistakenly used instead of notch filters.

4.col legno’s sets of Rihm string quartets were too heavy.

3.Amazon.com ranking inexplicably jumped from 42,406 to 42 and an Austrian eBay ring smelled potential profit.

2. Joyce Hatto discovered playing trautonium on Isola 3.

1. If you play Prometeo backwards, you can distinctly hear “Karlheinz is Dead.”

Watch this space: Perhaps next week Edition Peters will report theft of orchestral parts to Cage’s 101, for which crime we promise to provide 433 reasons.