The Expo Variations (2014-15)

24 Symphonic Variations
between national anthems and nutrigenomics

“The Expo Variations” is a wide cycle of symphonic scores that the Orchestra Verdi commissioned to Nicola Campogrande for the Milan Expo 2015.

A constant theme will be variated 24 times with elements coming from 24 national anthems used to “feed” it. That’s why the scores are in every concert dedicated to different countries taking part to Expo: “The Expo Variations: Israel”, “The Expo Variations: Argentina”, “The Expo Variations: Russia” and so on.

As Nicola Campogrande explained, «My 24 scores are connected with the topic of the food, with specific referencies to the most recent and fascinating discoveries of the nutrigenomics. The development of the musical ideas is indeed linked to the biologic mechanism of nutrients absorbtion, and specially inspired to the new knowledges on how the substances contained into the food are able to interact with our gene pool, up to modify their cellular responses.
The idea, indeed, is to recall musically a human being with universal characteristics and then to feed him with notes, rhythms, harmonies, timbres pushing him to grow and live in different ways upon the (musical) food that he eats. The national anthems used in the project became then a foodstuff for the theme, that grows up in 24 different ways»

“The Expo Variations” accompanied the Verdi Orchestra’s season all the Expo2015 long , played as Ouverture of every concert. The schedule foreseens the play of each Variation as close as possible to the national day of the title country.

Press

About “The Expo Variations: Russia” (****): “The Expo Variations:Russia” is padded in chalky tints that evoke something like the orchestration, if not exactly the spirit, of Tchaikovsky’s “Winter Daydreams”. A giddy mix of rattling bells, blanketed trumpets and paddling violins builds from snowy plods to sugary climaxes, only to dissolve into thin air
– James Imam, Bachtrack.com,  June 7, 2015

About “The Expo Variations: Oman”: Cinque minuti di bravura e arabeschi orchestrali, bilanciati tra l’omaggio-variato al tema dell’inno nazionale e una strizzata d’occhio alle tinte e agli umori del resto del programma
Angelo Foletto, la Repubblica, november 15, 201
5

About “The Expo Variations: Francia”: …Variazione che Campogrande ha modellato su “la Maseillaise”, frantumandone il noto sapore melodico-ritmico in piccoli assaggi distribuiti in orchestra e giocosamente camuffato
Maurizio Pancotti, Fuoridall’orbita.it, July 13, 2015)

About “The Expo Variations: Francia”: (****): Opening the concert with an explosive expression of the tricolore, “Francia” is the next chapter of La Verdi’s 24-part commission The Expo Variations from Nicola Campogrande. Tumbling trumpets and mutinous timpani build in avant-garde flecks, paring down to the wheezing notes of an accordion centre stage. The piece lends a coincidental homogeneity, or at least one that was subconsciously premeditated, to the programme in its entirety: Campogrande took his main theme from four notes of the French national anthem, only to realise that Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, scheduled for the same concert, uses the very same Marseillaise melody for its third movement shepherd call. Moreover, Campogrande had opted for the same instrumentation of oboe and timpani as Berlioz. Here was just one of the various gratifying connections between tonight’s works
James Imam, Bachtrack.com, July 11, 2015

About “The Expo Variations: Ungheria”: Come raccontato dallo stesso compositore nel programma di sala, il progetto delle Expo Variations nasce in occasione della manifestazione che si sta svolgendo in questi mesi nella capitale lombarda e prevede appunto 24 variazioni basate sugli inni nazionali e sulle suggestioni musicali di altrettanti paesi ospiti dell’esposizione. La Variazione presentata in apertura del concerto era dedicata all’Ungheria: un breve ma gustosissimo divertissement nel quale gli echi dei due inni nazionali magiari si inseguono, si sovrappongono e letteralmente giocano uno con l’altro in un concitato caleidoscopio di colori orchestrali, nel quale spiccano due arpe e una nutrita sezione di percussioni
– Maurizio Caschetto, Colonnesonore.net, August 21, 2015

About “The Expo Variations: Kuwait” (****): The piece possesse similar qualities to other instalments of the 24-part commission: dynamic textures and spangling orchestration, dominated here by rising scales in horns and antiphonal interplay. The sound may be sugary, but below the glaze ther is a wealth of sophisticated detail. These vignettes have been a delight on the ear
James Imam, Bachtrack.com, September 28, 2015

Instrumentation

The Expo Variations: Israele
2+ott.2+ci.2+clbs.2 – 4.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – cel – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Argentina
2+ott.2.2.2. – 2.2.0.0 – 3 perc – t – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Russia
2.2.2.2. – 4.2.0.0 – 3 perc – t – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Francia
2.1 +ci.2.2. – 4.3.3.1 – 3 perc – 2t – harp – fis – str

The Expo Variations: Colombia
2+ott.2+ci.2+clbs.2 sax a.1 sax t.2 – 4.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – 2 harp – banjo – str

The Expo Variations: Belgio
2.2.2.2. – 2.2.0.0 – 3 perc – t – str

The Expo Variations: Perù
2+ott.2.2.2 – 4.2.3.1 – 3 perc – t –  harp – str

The Expo Variations: Svizzera
2+ott.2+ci.2+clpicc+clbs.2+cfg – 4.4.3.1 – 3 perc – t -cel – 2 harp – Alphorn – str

The Expo Variations: Ungheria
2+ott.2+ci.2+ clbs.2+cfg – 4.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t -cel – 2 harp – Hammond – str

The Expo Variations: Malesia
2+ott.2.2.2 – 4.2.3.1 – 3 perc – t – 2 harp – str

The Expo Variations: Brasile
2+ott.2.2.2 – 3.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Kuwait
2.2.2.2 4.2.3.0 – 2 perc – t – str

The Expo Variations: Cina
2+ott.2+c.i.2+cl bs.2 – 3.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Germania
3+ott.3+c.i.3+cl bs.3+cfg – 8.5.3.1 – 5 perc – t – 2 harp – cel – str

The Expo Variations: Austria
2+ott.2+c.i.3+cl bs.2+cfg – 8.6.6.1 – 5 perc – t – 2 harp – pf – str

The Expo Variations: Turchia
2+ott+fl sol.2+c.i.2+clpicc+cl bs.2+cfg – 4.4.3.1 – 5 perc – t – harp – cel – pf – str

The Expo Variations: Repubblica ceca
2+ott.2.2.4 – 4.8 (4 esterne).3.1 – 3 perc – t – str

The Expo Variations: Vietnam
2+ott.2+c.i.2+cl bs.2 – 3.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – harp – pf – str

The Expo Variations: Oman
3+ott+fl sol.3+2 c.i.3+clpicc+cl bs.2+2cfg – 6.5.3.1 -2wag tuba- 5 perc – t – 2 harp – cel – org – str

The Expo Variations: Principato di Monaco
3.2.2.3 – 4.2.3.1 – 1 perc – t – str

The Expo Variations: Emirati Arabi Uniti
2.2.2.2 – 2.2.3.0 – t – str

The Expo Variations: Thailandia
2+ott.2+c.i.2+cl bs.2+cfg – 4.3.3.1 – 3 perc – t – harp – str

The Expo Variations: Bahrain
2+ott.2+c.i.3+clpicc+cl bs.2+cfg – 4.3.3.1 – 5 perc – t – 2 harp – cel – str

The Expo Variations: Giappone
2+ott.2+c.i.2+cl bs.2 – 4.3.3.1 – 5 perc – t – 2 harp – cel – str

Details

Commission Orchestra Verdi di Milano

Duration 120′ (5′ each Variation)

World Premiere Milano, Auditorium
May 7 – Dec 20, 2015

Buy / Rent nicola@inrete.it

Performances

The Expo Variations: Francia

April 12, 2016

Paris, Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Orchestre du CNSM, Silvia Massarelli (cond.)
French Premiere

The Expo Variations: Giappone

December 17, 2015 - December 20, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, John Axelrod (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Bahrein

December 11, 2015 - December 13, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, John Neschling (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Thailandia

December 4, 2015 - December 6, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Stanislav Kochanovsky (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Emirati Arabi Uniti

November 27, 2015 - November 29, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Zhang Xian (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Principato di Monaco

November 19, 2015 - November 22, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Jader Bignamini (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Oman

November 12, 2015 - November 15, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, John Axelrod (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Vietnam

November 6, 2015 - November 8, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Stanislav Kochanovsky (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Repubblica ceca

October 28, 2015 - November 1, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Jader Bignamini (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Turchia

October 23, 2015 - October 25, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, John Axelrod (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Austria

October 15, 2015 - October 18, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Eiji Oue (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Germania

October 9, 2015 - October 11, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Stanislav Kochanovsky (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Cina

October 1, 2015 - October 4, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Stanislav Kochanovsky (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Kuwait

September 25, 2015 - September 27, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Clemens Schuldt (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Brasile

September 17, 2015 - September 20, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Jader Bignamini (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Malesia

August 27, 2015 - August 30, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Giuseppe Grazioli (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Ungheria

August 20, 2015 - August 22, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Timothy Brook (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Svizzera

August 6, 2015 - August 9, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Marco Parisotto (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Perù

July 30, 2015 - August 2, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Lanzillotta (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Belgio

July 23, 2015 - July 26, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Daniel Smith (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Colombia

July 16, 2015 - July 19, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Wayne Marshall (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Francia

July 9, 2015 - July 12, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Oleg Caetani (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Russia

June 5, 2015 - June 7, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Marius Stravinsky (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Argentina

May 21, 2015 - May 24, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Zhang Xian (cond.)
World Premiere

The Expo Variations: Israele

May 9, 2015

RAI, Radio3 (Italy)

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Junichi Hirokami (cond.)

The Expo Variations: Israele

May 7, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Milano (Italy), Auditorium

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Junichi Hirokami (cond.)

 

February 15, 2014