About this work:
SICILIANU (The Lesson) explores the siciliana (or siciliano), a musical form developed by the baroque Sicilian-born Alessandro Scarlatti and later used by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Nino Rota, etc. This SICILIANU incorporates its lamenting quality, use of the 6/8 meter in a minor key and the utilization of the Neapolitan sixth
chord at cadences. It also quotes two examples of siciliana, Mozart's famous aria from The Magic Flute, "Ach, ich fuhl's, es ist verschwunden" and the second movement of Bach's Concerto in E for harpsichord and strings, BWV1053.
The text, written by the composer, is a combination of English and sicilianu, the original language of Cucinotta's paternal family. In SICILIANU, the narrator speaks numbers, days of the week, months etc. as if practicing for his sicilian lesson. However, all exercises contain descriptors to the final part of the lesson, a memory of the horrible earthquake and tsunami that destroyed Messina and killed about one hundred thousand victims on Monday, December 28, 1908 at 5:20 in the morning.