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HELP!! I need audition suggestions quick!

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by pedro, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    This is a last second decision - my son will 'probably' apply to Indiana U as a jazz studies major but they require a 'classical audition'. The jazz audition isn't a problem but we're looking for suggestions concerning the 'classical audition'. The IU website says the following, 'Applicants should prepare: 1. two works from the standard solo literature contrasting in tempo and style; and 2. two excerpts from the standard orcestral repretoire.

    I'm embarrassed to admit this is due December 1 but I ask humbly for some help.
  2. mazaremba


    Apr 15, 2004
    Yikes! Very short time for such demanding works, that is if you do not practice classical music all the time. Ok... well here is what I am thinking of preparing for my classical auditions in Feb, so maybe this may help.

    Solo pieces:
    Bach Cello Suite #1 Sarabande
    Any etude

    Excerpt from Classical Piece:
    F. Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 : Andante Con Moto
    Mozart Symphony Number 35 Finale

    Mendelssohn's Andante should not be too challenging unless your son has no classical skill and is 100% jazz. I must tell you though any of the Bach suites which are required at most auditions tend to be quite challenging. Good luck to him.
  3. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thanks for the suggestions. He has played classical before and has been in orchestra and wind ensemble. I know he's done at least one of the Bach Cello Suites - the Bourree (I think) from the third suite? And he had learned a Marcello Sonata. I know he has played through some of his Beethoven and Mozart scores but I don't think he's ever 'really worked on them'. Anyway, we opted to send it the application indicating the 'jazz selection' and stating that the classical repretoire had not been chosen. Hopefully it will give him a little time to work something out with his teacher.

    BTW mazaremba do you go to IU? Its interesting to me that

    1. Jazz majors are only asked to perform one standard and
    2. There doesn't appear to be an 'jazz bass' professors per se.
  4. mazaremba


    Apr 15, 2004
    No infact, I am going on auditions for universities myself this year in Feb/March. I am applying to : DePaul, Roosevelt, and Illinois Wesleyan. I know that DePaul's professor is suppose to an amazing jazz and classical player (well he is in the CSO) and the only thing I know about IU is that their program is suppose to be really good.

    Yeah Jazz majors are prob. not judged as hard on the classical stuff, but I am sure there is no forgiveness when it comes time to sight read the chord chart!

    The bourree from Suite 3 assuming he knows both parts and can play them pretty well would work just fine. I would just make sure that his symphony excerpt is of a different style.
  5. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Rob Kassinger is wonderful. My son played for Rob last year when he was considering DePaul. And yes, according to my son's teacher, Kassinger is a very gifted jazz bassist.
  6. Mr. Hurst and Bransby usually want to hear any of the followoing:

    First Mvt of Standard Bass concerto i.e. Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Drag Koussevitsky, or Bottesini

    Then a mvt of bach is always nice 3rd suite Bourree's are not too bad; I played a mvt from one of bach's viola de gamba sonata's that was really nice

    DO NOT PLAY BEETHOVEN 9 Recatitive Mr. Hurst hates hearing that. Beethoven 5 trio or Brahms 1 letter E would do nicly. That would be a healthy audition for IU .
  7. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [[DO NOT PLAY BEETHOVEN 9 Recatitive Mr. Hurst hates hearing that.

    That's rather interesting. What makes you say so?
  8. I have studied with Mr. Hurst for 2 years now and every year after audition he complains about high school students applying that come in and take the easy way out and play the Beethoven 9 which shows no stroke. He just would much prefer to hear an excerpt that shows the students ability to play orchestral bow strokes i.e. off the string or heavy spicato storke thats all.
  9. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thanks. I'm a bit unsure of what to recommend to my son since your comments about the Beethoven seem to be in direct contrast to other advice I've been given.
  10. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL

    Choice of rep is only a part of the process and your son will always have to go with his gut feelings. You son will be in far better shape to play rep that he is comfortable and familiar with. Just encourage him to dive deep into practicing what he has chosen to play and to play that rep with conviction. Any panel will hear a good musician when presented with one, regardless of rep. It is a choice, but one that he should not fret about. Any of the above recommended material is great and will do just fine.
  11. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Well, My two cents are...I don't think it fair to speak on Hurst's behalf. Especially when it means complaining. BUT if it is so unbearable to listen to juevenile low experienced auditionees play rep substandard then there is a communication problem on the behalf of the one who is listening. Am I totally wrong?
    It is not the end of the world what they play or is it?
  12. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Hurst hates hearing poor renditions of the recit.

    It's in the back of the simandl, and everyone learns it, so it can be tiring to hear it for the 4000th time, but I can tell you why it is a good lick to play for an audition:

    1) It shows off aspects of musical personality that aren't evident in licks of running 8th notes - the students ability to understand phrases, what else is going on in the piece besides the bass, the students current dynamic envelope.

    2) It takes a lot of bow control to play it well under pressure - If you can do this, it's impressive. If you can show that you have the type of bow technique that is already making very musical ideas from the notes on the page, it will not be to your detriment.

    3) Vibrato - a big chunk of time will spent on vibrato in your first couple years if you don't have it already. If you have a good strong vibrato and can keep it going between notes then its going to show well on this lick.

    I would say that your best bet is to find the excerpts your son can play the best (in terms of technique, musicianship, and sound) and present those. Do make sure to present an excerpt with some type of off the string articulations, though.

    Honestly, at this point in the game Hurst has heard everything and everyone and he isn't going to hold it against you if your playing a warhorse, as long as you play the crap out of it.
  13. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Thanks your input is much appreciated.
  14. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    Honestly, I know that this was the case with me when I was taking my conservatory auditions, I think that a lot of high school students spend too much energy trying to be musicians in their auditions instead of bass players. What teachers, in general, are really looking for in a potential student is potential and a grasp of basic technique that will allow them to further their studies technically and musically. And while the Trio from 5 may not have the "musical depth" that the recits have, I can guarentee you that you'll have a lot more success in the audition with the Trio.

    Musicianship is something that takes years to developed. Teachers, in my opinion, are not really looking for perfect musicians to be in their studios, they are looking for solid bass players.
  15. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [[Teachers, in my opinion, are not really looking for perfect musicians to be in their studios, they are looking for solid bass players.

    EFischer1, you’d think that was the case. And maybe it is so but for some of us we not only have to get our kids into the music school but require very, very significant scholarships. Personally, I’ll be glad when all of this is behind us.
  16. anonymous092513


    Mar 11, 2005
    if you want good solos, try

    the elephant from saint-saens

    get a bach celo suite book edited for dbass (mine is mark bernat)

    77 classical bass lines from miami music publishing co.

    i have goten into lots of stuff with this reportor, so look for them
  17. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    I, personally, love classical bass (look at name). The cello suites are fairly difficult and should only be played when perfected. Because they have been recorded many times over and are popular, a mediocre audition with a cello suite won't cut it. Depending on whether you play it in cello range or an octave lower is a major difficulty factor. Playing the suites in cello range is much more difficult (refer to Edgar Meyer's recordings). However, December is plenty of time if you practice every day until the date of the auditon. Koussevitzky Concerto Op. 3 is definitely not a bad choice if you can play it. For an easier bass solo, look at Karls Ditters von Dittersdorf for his bass concerto which is lovely in its own but not as difficult. Bottessini and Dragonetti are definitely impressive if you're up for a challenge but don't start a solo and work on it for half a year and then figure out its too hard. Anyways, GL on the audition and let me know how it goes.