Nicola Campogrande (*1969) R (A Portrait for Piano and Orchestra)
[pno,orch] 2012 duration: 17'
pno – 2(picc).2.2.2. – 4.2.2.Btbne.1. – hp – cel – perc(4).timp – str
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In 2012 Nicola Campogrande received a rather singular commission when a total stranger asked him to compose a musical portrait of his fiancée. The man knew exactly what he wanted: a concerto for piano and orchestra. After some reflection, Campogrande realised that he would be able to paint with music. It would never be possible, of course, to recognise the shape of the woman’s face or the colour of her hair, but the score could evoke the way in which it occupied space and time, and the different movements of the composition would be like the faces on a rotating prism. Campogrande thus accepted the commission and the stranger sent him a few photos of his fiancée, spoke to him about her and, finally, introduced him to her. This is how R (A portrait for piano and orchestra) was born, to be first performed in April 2013 by Lilya Zilberstein with the Orchestra Verdi in Milan. Subsequently, following other performances and a TV documentary, a number of different pianists asked Campogrande to write a version for solo piano. Hence Nudo emerged, a piece that would be identical to R, were it not for the fact that, as the title suggests, the pianist is naked, without orchestral clothing.