Upwards #12

By Annette Zerpner June 28, 2024


The 2023/24 season is almost over! Before we take our summer break, our slow elevator Süd has to make its way up once again - we're joined by someone who knows his way around the heights: principal piccolo player Daniel Werner. He has never used this elevator before, by the way. So, we used it two times for good measure.

The piccolo goes all the way up to the fifth c. What is the fascination for you?

Sometimes the piccolo is ridiculed as a kind of pure brass band instrument on which you can play very high and shrill. But that's not what it's all about. I find it particularly exciting to give it a voice, a soul - the fact that it is very small doesn't mean that it has nothing to say.

Its sound always makes it very exposed. It is very important for me to fit in very well with the sound pyramid of the orchestra, to sit in the middle of it, so to speak. As a piccolo player, I often have to focus on summarizing the sounds in the orchestra at the top and putting the shine on them.


The fingerings are identical, but the more you get to grips with both instruments, the clearer it becomes how different the playing style, airflow and support are. For a really pleasant, beautiful, warm piccolo sound, you need much more resonance space in the body - the eye sockets, the mouth and head space - because of the smaller size of the instrument. This also has to do with imagination.

What are you particularly looking forward to in the coming season?

There are various works: Mahler's Fourth, Tchaikovsky's Fourth. And of course Shostakovich - Symphonies Nos. 10 and 11 are on the program.

The piccolo is enormously present in his symphonies, not only in the numerous military passages. He often included it in such a way that it sounds like the "voice from beyond". I find these passages with their mood between life and death incredibly fascinating. They are perfectly written for the instrument. You can make them very warm or very pale, almost devoid of life. With the piccolo, you can thread the vibrato in such a way that it is almost imperceptible. Then it has a trace of liveliness, but not of something in between - like a shadow or a glow from far away.

His Symphony No. 1, which we are playing this week, already contains his special musical language, but it really comes out in the later ones.

After this week, it's the end of the season - are you, as a South Tyrolean, going to the mountains back home?

In summer, hiking and recharging my batteries in the middle of the mountains is an must that inspires me greatly..But I also go to the sea – this year, it's about contrasts for me!

Mahler wrote many symphonies in his composing cottage in South Tyrol. Sometimes, when I listen to his music, I understand exactly why he composed something in a certain way. My own images come to mind.

The elevator south is making its way up again after the summer break!


For this event, you will not receive tickets through our webshop. You will therefore be redirected to an external page of the organizer. If you have any not completed bookings on konzerthaus.de, they will be dissolved after 20 minutes.