Piccolo Picks

Let the petite flûte take centre stage with these unusual and colourful pieces!

Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza Aria for Piccolo and Piano

This lovely piece is based on the original score for the ballet Wild Swans and it’s great! The note range is quite small and the rhythm straightforward so it’s possible to concentrate purely on the musical aspect, and the piano part is quite busy which gives added security for tuning and phrasing. To prove it’s really memorable a global company has used it in an advert! Difficulty Guide 5-6

Alessandro Cavicchi: Embraceable Lenny for Piccolo and Piano

The ‘Lenny’ in the title is Leonard Bernstein and that is made very clear in this substantial work. The opening movement is sparkly and energetic typical of his writing, the slow movement variations on ‘Maria’ from West Side Story and the final Presto quotes from ‘I want to be in America’ from the same show. It’s not often that the piccolo receives such amazing treatment and a great opportunity to play such a popular style piece. Grab it now! Difficulty Guide 9

Amanda Harberg: Sonata for Piccolo and Piano

A substantial 12 minute showcase of all that it can do, this piece presents a real challenge of technique, rhythm and musicianship. The three movements have really contrasting moods which show off the piccolo brilliantly. The absence of very high notes increases the overall appeal of the work, making it much easier to programme. If you are a serious piccolo player this piece is a must! Difficulty Guide 9

Michael Daugherty: The High and Mighty for Piccolo and Piano

This first movement of this fascinating piece opens with a captivating melody which alternates with cascades of notes and textural flutter-tonguing. A cadenza introduces the energetic dance characteristics of the second movement. It’s a workout certainly, and it’s range of styles is really different! Difficulty Guide 9

Melvin Lauf: Echoes of Narcissus for Two Piccolos and Piano

This is a very good piece simply because the piccolos are used not as big solo instruments but as a part of a three-way texture. They weave in and out, sometimes merging as one, sometimes adding a flash of colour but always staying within the same soundworld. On the practical side, both piccolo parts are relatively low and the challenge does not lie in the technical difficulty. This would make an effective contrast in a mixed concert and is really lovely to play. Difficulty Guide 8







Leave a Reply