Skip to content

Pennisi Francesco

He lived in Rome where in the 60's he founded "Nuova Consonanza". After his debut in the 2nd International Week of New Music in Palermo in 1962 with L'anima e i prestigi, on an opera by Lucio Piccolo, his compositions have been executed in many places, such as the Biennale of Venice, the Biennale des jeunes of Paris, the Reconnaissance des musiques modernes of Brussels. His first experience in musical theatre was in 1972, Sylvia simplex (Biennale of Venice, Theatre of Palazzo Grassi); the second one was in 1982; this time, the scenes and the texts were composed by him: Descrizione dell'isola Ferdinandea (Accademia Filarmonica Romana). In 1991 his 3rd work L'esequie della luna was staged by Lucio Piccolo in Gibellina on a fantastic narration by Roberto Andò; it was followed by Tristan for the Biennale of Venice in 1995, on an unpublished work by Ezra Pound, which was also composed for the Biennale. However, the catalogue of his works is predominantly constituted by chamber and orchestra music. In the first category are the cycle Carteggio for flute, cello and harpsichord, (the prima of this work was executed in the "Apollinee" lounges of la Fenice in 1979 and in a version with theatre implications; the following year it was executed at the theatre "Alla Scala" in Milan, in the "Piccola Sala"). Some of the most important scores are: the three ones for flute and orchestra Arioso mobile, 1981; Eclisse a Fleri, 1985; Scena, 1996; the two scores for harp and orchestra composed for the concerts of Santa Cecilia Academy, L'arrivo dell'Unicorno, 1985; Angelica in bosco, 1991; and for viola and orchestra La Partenza di Tisias (1979). The far reaching orchestra work Memorie e varianti was a commission by RAI for the fifty years of the Symphonic Orchestra in Turin. The vocal works are present in the whole compositive experience of Pennisi: Era la notte for soprano, harpsichord and orchestra on verses by Tasso; Medea dixit on a text by Ovidio; Aci il fiume on fragments by Ovidio and Gòngora; Altro effetto di luna (1996) on a lyric poem by Eugenio Montale; L'ape iblea(1998) for soprano, reciting voice and orchestra on a text by Vincenzo Consolo composed for the Orchestra della Toscana. Some of the latest works are: Nox erat (2000) melologue on fragments of the fourth book of Aeneid by Virgil; the work was a commission by the theatre A. Ponchielli in Cremona and by the theatre of the "Maggio Musicale Fiorentino"; Farfalle(2000), on a lyric composition by Addamo; May be blues (2000) for piano; Di un quieto sonare for harpsichord, in memory of Paola Bernardi. Since 1995 he has been Academician of Santa Cecilia. Francesco Pennisi died in Rome on the 8th October 2000. His works are published by Casa Ricordi, Suvini Zerboni and Edipan. He was interested also in the graphic and painting activity: the scenes for the works Sylvia simplex and Descrizione dell'isola Ferdinandea, the images which go with Carteggio, two books Deragliamento(Venice, 1984) and Paesaggi di memoria inattendibile (Valverde, 1994); the illustrations for Giona and the Leviatano by Giacoma Limentani are some examples of his activity. The Editor Flaccovio has recently published a collection from Sylvia simplex and Carteggio(Palermo, 2001). The painting works by Francesco Pennisi have been showed on the occasion of some exhibitions set up by the American Academy (Rome, 1973), by the record Library Of Palermo University (Rome, 1978), in Palazzo Venezia (Rome, 1985) and at Goethe Institut Rom, in 1995 and in 2001.