Halo (2019)

Ned McGowan, Jan-Peter de Graaff, Jan Vriend, Bart Spaan, Allan Segall, Piet-Jan van Rossum

Ilonka Kolthof, Ralph van Raat

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.

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Ralph van Raat

Pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat (1978) studied the piano with Prof. Ton Hartsuiker and Prof. Willem Brons at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Musicology at the University of Amsterdam, which he concluded “Cum Laude”. Van Raat also studied with Claude Helffer, Ursula Oppens, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

Van Raat appears as a recitalist in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well as the United States. Besides the traditional classical repertoire, he takes special interest in the performance of contemporary classical music. Many of his concerts have been broadcasted by Dutch as well as foreign radio and television networks. 

Van Raat also performed as a soloist with orchestras including London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Philharmonic, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Frankfurt, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and the Dortmunder Philharmoniker. He worked closely with conductors Valery Gergiev, JoAnn Falletta, David Robertson, Peter Eötvös, Stefan Asbury, Michel Tabachnik, Tan Dun, Otto Tausk and Susanna Mälki Many composers have written exclusively for Ralph. He recorded a great number of CD’s with complete piano works of contemporary composers, such as Magnus Lindberg.

Van Raat teaches contemporary piano music interpretation at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He regularly gives masterclasses, lectures and workshops also abroad. 

Since 2003, Van Raat is a Steinway Artist.

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Halo (2019)

Ned McGowan, Jan-Peter de Graaff, Jan Vriend, Bart Spaan, Allan Segall, Piet-Jan van Rossum

Ilonka Kolthof, Ralph van Raat

Assistant Engineer:: Hans Erblich
Cables: Furutech custom microphone cables, Furutech custom loudspeaker cables, Furutech custom power cables, Furutech LineFlux XLR, Furutech NanoFlux NCF
Digital Converters: Merging Technologies HAPI, Merging Technologies Anubis
Mastering Engineer: Brendon Heinst
Microphones: DPA d;dicate 4006A, DPA d;dicate 4015A
Mixing Board: Brendon Heinst
Notes: Ilonka Kolthof
Photography & Artwork: Brendon Heinst
Producer: Brendon Heinst
Recording Engineer: Brendon Heinst
Recording location: Jurriaanse Zaal of De Doelen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD
Speakers: KEF Blade Two loudspeakers

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TTK0044: Halo
01:20:26   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Anemoon tot wolk - haiku for piccolo and piano
Piet-Jan van Rossum
00:06:13   Select quality & channels above
2.
The last cocktail... - I. Homage to Gershwin
Allan Segall
00:04:23   Select quality & channels above
3.
The last cocktail... - II. Homage to Nancarrow
Allan Segall
00:01:56   Select quality & channels above
4.
The last cocktail... - III. Homage to Messiaen
Allan Segall
00:04:03   Select quality & channels above
5.
Halo
Bart Spaan
00:14:07   Select quality & channels above
6.
Sonata for piccolo and piano - I.
Jan Vriend
00:11:10   Select quality & channels above
7.
Sonata for piccolo and piano - II.
Jan Vriend
00:08:15   Select quality & channels above
8.
Sonata for piccolo and piano - III.
Jan Vriend
00:04:53   Select quality & channels above
9.
Sonata for piccolo and piano - IV.
Jan Vriend
00:07:35   Select quality & channels above
10.
Meccanica
Jan-Peter de Graaff
00:08:19   Select quality & channels above
11.
Rickshaw Zip
Ned McGowan
00:09:32   Select quality & channels above

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