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Audition Repertoire

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by HowiePlaysBass, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. HowiePlaysBass


    Aug 24, 2012
    I have spent a pretty sizeable amount of time in the last three years preparing solo work for various endeavors, and the time has come for me to prepare to audition at music schools. I'm taking a couple of different auditions but I'd like to play the same thing (as far as my concerto goes) for each audition, since that seems to me to be only reasonable.
    So the question I want to ask is how do you decide which concerto to play? I'd like to play the first two movements of either Dragonetti, Koussevitzky, or Dittersdorf. They are all challenging in their own respects as well as virtuosic in their own respects. I've heard people mention that maybe Dragonetti isn't technically difficult enough to play at some big name auditions, but I disagree.
    (I think it's worth noting that I've played all of these at one point or another before, so I wouldn't be learning any of them "brand new" so to speak."
    Anyways, does anyone have any input?

  2. AdmiralScreed


    Oct 10, 2011
    Play what makes you most comfortable and you believe represents your playing best. And definitely consult your teacher. I played Koussevitzky this year for my auditions. It's a simple piece, but it got the job done and got me into my top school. Simple is good.
  3. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Feb 9, 2009
    Each concerto has their merits. I played Koussevitsky for my college auditions and this years festival auditions, and I was relatively successful with each. Dittersdorf might be considered less of an ideal option by some (especially if you're auditioning for more than just bassists) since it's less "show-y" of a piece to represent yourself with- the same goes with Dragonetti. Dragonetti isn't a terrible audition piece, of course (Hal won Principal of the National Symphony playing that).

    Going solely on which is "best", i'd say Kous (assuming you're equally comfortable with both), but that's just my two cents- i'm sure others will disagree.
  4. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Feb 9, 2009
    Going by the OP's post he hasn't worked on it.
  5. mattgray


    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    Ask your teacher.
  6. HowiePlaysBass


    Aug 24, 2012
    My teacher thinks dragonetti might be my best bet because I've worked on it really extensively. I haven't played bottesini and I'm open to the idea of learning it but I don't think it is my best option given the timetable. My auditions will be in this coming fall semester so I'd like to spend most of my time perfecting it rather than learning it.
  7. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Any of those pieces are fine, but you must play them exceptionally well. I would say to play which piece you have the odds in your favor. Which are you less likely to make mistakes in?

  8. HowiePlaysBass


    Aug 24, 2012
    So do you guys think it would be acceptable to play dragonetti? Granted yes I want to play it musically and flawlessly.
  9. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Feb 9, 2009
    A really well done Dragonetti can potentially be more impressive than either of the other concertos you mentioned.
  10. ILIA


    Jan 27, 2006
    Choose the Dragonetti. Boom. Affirmation/validation complete. There it is. Now, go practice.
  11. FMDFI

    FMDFI Commercial User

    May 1, 2013
    Owner, Instrumental Distribution LLC

    Ask yourself which piece is going to represent yourself the best. College profs are usually impressed with students who have mastered the skills of problem-solving and attention to detail. It's much, much better to play what is considered a "conservative" piece very well than to play a more "impressive" work in an approximate manner.
  12. Dragonetti is under-appreciated, because so many of us learned it before we learned the other "big" concertos, but it's actually quite showy. It has the added impact of almost always exceeding the expectations of "Experienced Bass Players", simply because it's been unfairly discounted before you even start playing!
    Advantage: You.
    It's very showy after all, and has a wider range than the other "big" concertos.
    Go For It!

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