For this album, I chose six compositions written for the ‘classical’ combination of piccolo and piano, highlighting the piccolo in a wide variety of different guises.
I am convinced that the piccolo has entered a new era. After years of being perceived as just a colour in the orchestra, the time has come for this beautiful little instrument to conquer the stage on its own merit. Despite its negligible size, the piccolo harbours a surprisingly rich palette of sounds. Its powers of expression and outspoken character offer endless opportunities to elevate it into the ranks of solo instruments, equal to the flute, the violin, the piano and so on.
With that in mind, I founded the Dutch Piccolo Project. Its aim is to actively promote the piccolo as an autonomous solo instrument and create a repertoire. Close collaboration with a number of Dutch composers has so far resulted in an eclectic collection of new compositions for the piccolo as a solo instrument and in combination with other instruments such as the piano, the harp and percussion. In doing so, its repertoire has expanded substantially.
For this album, I chose six compositions written for the ‘classical’ combination of piccolo and piano, highlighting the piccolo in a wide variety of different guises. It whispers, sings, cries and even screams at times. One moment it revels in virtuoso acrobatics, the next it moans in hushed undertones. The whole gamut of its expressive potential is explored.
The compositions on this recording also demonstrate the variety and remarkable standard of contemporary music in The Netherlands. I therefore carefully selected composers who not only show affinity with the piccolo, but also speak with a unique voice, each showcasing the diversity of musical creativity in my home country.
This album is the beginning of an exciting journey, which definitely will take me to places I haven’t been before. It raises expectations for the future of the instrument I so dearly love.
Classical – Contemporary (> 1920)
Graaff, Jan-Peter de
De Doelen – Jurriaanse Zaal, Rotterdam (NL)
November 22nd, 2019
"But for me, the real beauty of this album resides in their playing and in the recording in typical TRPTK quality: extremely clear, with an unprecedented definition and yet with that so essential dose of glow and warmth."
Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek
"What is striking is the enormous diversity of atmospheres, sounds and playing techniques Ilonka conjures up from the piccolo."
Ruud Jonker, Music Emotion
"Kolthof whispers impressively with the piccolo"
Merlijn Kerkhof, de Volkskrant
"Kolthof impresses with alternating brilliant and lyrical performance. Pianist Ralph van Raat excels in the demanding keyboard parts."
Joep Christenhusz, NRC
"The performances on this recording are first rate. The ensemble playing between the two is exceptional, and the two musicians play off another creating some remarkable tone colors.’"
Flute Talk Magazine
"It’s remarkable that in chamber music, the piccolo loses its brittleness, and sounds very sweet and sympathetic."
Jan de Kruijff, Musicalifeiten
"Kolthof plays with mastery, with a tone that is at times sweet, gentle, and lyrical, and at others strident, strong and assertive. Her articulation and technique are particularly good, as is her pitch – and every bit of that is in service to her sense of expression."
The Flutist Quarterly