Playing Bach in an audition, voluntarily, can have both positives and negatives. While a Prelude can show off the expression of the individual, you also run the risk of putting off your audience as well. There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to Bach. Some feel that there is only one way to play Bach, so an expressive interpretation with nice tempo/articulation/phrasing changes can be looked upon poorly. Of course there are other opinions, like my own, where an expressive interpretation is totally accepted! I feel that far too often, players play Bach safely.
I attended a masterclass with Leonid Finkelshteyn, principal bass of the North Carolina Symphony, who said that he would never play Bach voluntarily on an audition because of the dilemma I listed above. He said that when asked to play Bach at an orchestra audition, he usually played a dance movement, often the Gigue from the 3rd Suite, in a pretty straight forward way. He would play it differently in a solo recital though.
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a great day playing the cello!
Last edited by MysterMunky : 09-26-2013 at 10:43 AM.