My Ein Heldenleben Excerpt Recording
I'm playing this for a college audition in a few days (currently an HS senior). I'd really appreciate some feedback on it, especially from those of you experienced with this excerpt. Thanks!
First off, well done! This is not an easy excerpt regardless to your level of study, and going into a college audition with that in the bag is really great.
As for constructive criticism:
Dynamics: It is a youtube video and things get compressed, I have no idea what you are recording on/with, the space isn't ideal etc. You might be doing these already, but you can likely do more. The < into rehearsal 10 could be bigger, and you want to really bring out that bar. The > < just before 11 could be more dramatic too. You are going from fff down to f, so although you still want it to be loud, it's a big change. Your < coming out could be more gradual, as it arrives on the Bb.
Body language/movement: You have a pretty quiet upper body, which is great. It's easy to play this excerpt and move too much. Try not to count/attack by head bobbing. It will get you into trouble in a section one day, and the panel is not going to want to see it. Along those same lines, your breath/cue after long notes is pretty audible. It can be helpful, but an entire orchestra doing it would make this a very different piece.
You slid into your high Bb before 12, but that's really getting down to splitting hairs.
It sounds great and those are some pretty small suggestions. Honestly if you went into an audition and played it as well as the video, they will be very happy with that.
Very well done, but there's always something to work on in that one.
If your audition is in a few days, at this point the best thing you can do is get comfortable performing the thing. There might be a few simple things you can address before then, but on the whole I think you should be feeling confident on this one. It's well-learned, the intonation is decent, and you generally have the right ideas here.
Mike is correct about the head bobbing. It wouldn't bother me but for the fact that it's clearly disturbing the performance. On the longer notes, you can even hear your own pulsing in the bow. Try playing a few times while just staring yourself down in the mirror. See if you can internalize the pulse.
Make sure all the dotted figures (dotted 8th + 16th) are really crisp and true to text. You have a tendency to shift too early and play a very long 16th. If anything, the dotted 8th should be slightly too long with a very quick 16th after.
Think about how you want to start the excerpt. I think your tempo here is a little fast, and there will be a tendency to play even faster at the audition. Make sure you're subdividing before you start, and keep that pulse through the piece. You may have shortchanged the very first note of the piece, and you have a tendency to (rhythmically) blow off the notes leading into each arpeggio.
I think your focus here should be on starting the excerpt in time, keeping your body under control, and keeping a full sustained sound through the piece.
Sounds good man, what schools are you applying to?
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