It’s easy to write off the piccolo as just a pipsqueak younger brother to the flute. Many flute players even think that way. The piccolo — which plays an octave higher — is something they pick up only when the music requires it.
But Janette Erickson, principal flutist for the Fresno Philharmonic, has worked long and hard to bring one of the world’s most accomplished piccolo players to Fresno.
Mazzanti will perform and teach in a piccolo recital and master class on Saturday, Feb. 28, in the Fresno Pacific University atrium. The event is presented by the university and sponsored by the Bonner Family Foundation.
Because Erickson is friends with Mazzanti, we thought it would be fun for her to interview him by email.
Why, is it not a solo voice? (He adds a smile emoticon.) Nowadays I think piccolo, with a great level of specialization, can play with large dynamics and different colours. Now, we can have a real “expression” with the piccolo!|
This is a difficult question because I do not have a large knowledge of American universities and conservatories. You Americans, generally, take the piccolo more seriously, often practicing it on daily basis. In Europe we think the piccolo mainly as an orchestral voice.
I only landed in Fresno because I had a class in Visalia. I love to have U.S. tours because I love your country, and my son, Andrea, is living and working in Philadelphia. So a tour is a great chance to visit him! I have great friends and colleagues here. They are so kind organizing classes and concerts for me.
The “Four Gypsy Pieces” for piccolo and piano was dedicated to me. The incredible thing is I never met the author in person! Years ago, I received an email from Christopher telling me he wrote this work for me, from a suggestion of one of his friends. This guy listened to my piccolo recital at the National Flute Association Annual Convention in San Diego in 2005 and he thought I was the good performer of Caliendo’s music.
I love this piece! The music is telling four different moments of gypsy life, including a terrible story of a little gypsy kid in the Auschwitz concentration camp. I think the work is a great challenge for the piccoloist (and for the pianist, too) because it has all the most difficult things for the piccolo. It is a gem for our repertoire and I’m honored to spread it with my concerts.