FRANCESCO PENNINI (1934-2000): Piano Works - 6 pezzi brevi, Musica per pianoforte, Afterthoughts, Promenade, Frammento 99, Canzone da sonare, In un foglio, Raccolta dei frammenti in una trascrizione per pianoforte, Frammento naxiota, Quasi cantabile, Ch;è bella chiesta via, Una pastorale etnea, Arabesco augurale per Carlo Marinelli, Una lettura deviata, Le fantôme de la valse oubliée, Corale di felicitazione con i signori Scotese per aver Essi finalmente trovato casa, Lo strano Frammento trovato a Tandil, Maybe blues, Na nottata tanta ranni.

Catalogue Number: 03W060

Label: Stradivarius

Reference: STR 37167

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: These intriguing miniature character pieces are unusual in that one normally associates this kind of composition with Romanticism, which is largely absent here. It would be more accurate to describe Pennisi's idiom as "un-anchored tonality" - akin to Impressionism - rather than atonality, and the notes' reference to the "avant garde" seems only to refer to his proximity to trends in the 1950s and '60s, and is nowhere to be found in these pieces (aside from the "preparation" of a few notes in Promenade, apparently resulting from the composer’s interest in some of Cage's ideas, and some glissandi on the strings elsewhere). Only the rather Webernian "Music for Piano" and Afterthoughts, of 1960 and 1962 sound genuinely atonal, and after the two-decade hiatus that followed, tonal harmony, if never functional tonality, become important once again, though the economy and brevity remain. All the pieces bear evocative titles, which accurately reflect their character, and the presence of a "Waltz", "Small-rag" and "Maybe Blues" - which the pieces in question definitely are - point to a concern with approachability, and "How beautiful this street is", Una pastorale etnea (from the 1990s) and the other half-dozen works from the last decade of the composer’s life, expressive of his nostalgia and love for his native Sicily, are instantly accessible and gently moving. Stefano Cascioli (piano).

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