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Ilonka Kolthof & Ralph van Raat

Halo

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.

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About the album

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.

Tracklist click to play/pause

  • Piet-Jan van Rossum

    Anemoon tot wolk: Haiku for piccolo and piano

    6:14 Play button Pause button 6:14
  • Allan Segall

    The last cocktail...

    1. I. Homage to Gershwin
      4:23 Play button Pause button 4:23
    2. II. Homage to Nancarrow
      1:56 Play button Pause button 1:56
    3. III. Homage to Messiaen
      4:04 Play button Pause button 4:04
  • Bart Spaan

    Halo

    14:08 Play button Pause button 14:08
  • Jan Vriend

    Sonata for piccolo and piano

    1. I
      11:10 Play button Pause button 11:10
    2. II
      8:16 Play button Pause button 8:16
    3. III. Scherzo
      4:53 Play button Pause button 4:53
    4. IV
      7:35 Play button Pause button 7:35
  • Jan-Peter de Graaff

    Meccanica

    8:20 Play button Pause button 8:20
  • Ned McGowan

    Rickshaw Zip

    9:32 Play button Pause button 9:32

More information

Label TRPTK
Genre(s) Classical – Contemporary (> 1920)
Artist(s) Ilonka Kolthof
Ralph van Raat
Composer(s) Graaff, Jan-Peter de
McGown, Ned
Rossum, Piet-Jan van
Segall, Allan
Spaan, Bart
Vriend, Jan
Recording location(s) De Doelen - Jurriaanse Zaal, Rotterdam (NL)
Recording date(s) August 2019
Cat. No.

TTK 0044

Release date

November 22nd, 2019

Additional links

Download Booklet(PDF)

"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

"What is striking is the enormous diversity of atmospheres, sounds and playing techniques Ilonka conjures up from the piccolo."

Ruud Jonker, Music Emotion

"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

"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

"Kolthof whispers impressively with the piccolo"

Merlijn Kerkhof, de Volkskrant

Further reading

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