The anti-fascist cantata Il canto sospeso, the string quartet Fragmente - Stille, an Diotima and the 'Tragedy of Listening' Prometeo cemented Luigi Nono's place in music history. In this study, Carola Nielinger-Vakil examines these major works in the context of Nono's amalgamation of avant-garde composition with Communist political engagement. Part I discusses Il canto sospeso in the context of all of Nono's anti-fascist pieces, from the unfinished Fučik project (1951) to Ricorda cosa ti hanno fatto in Auschwitz (1966). Nielinger-Vakil explores Nono's position at the Darmstadt Music Courses, the evolution of his compositional technique, his penchant for music theatre and his use of spatial and electronic techniques to set the composer and his works against the diverging circumstances in Italy and Germany after 1945. Part II further examines these concerns and shows how they live on in Nono's work after 1975, culminating in a thorough analysis of Prometeo.