Help With Music Selection

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Dittersdorf87, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Dittersdorf87


    Jan 23, 2005
    Chicago, Il
    I have an audition coming up in about a month for a training orchestra and am not completely sure what solo and excerpt would be appropriate (It is a college level group).
    The Requirements are:
    1st movement from a concerto or concert piece;
    1 major orchestral excerpt of your choice.
    Beethoven Symphony No. 5 (2nd movement).

    Any help would be appreciated
  2. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    What concerto do you play best? I suppose you could take "concert piece" to mean just about any I would also consider any sonata that you play well if you feel that it shows more and is better prepared than your best concerto.

    Pick an excerpt that shows something that the Beethoven doesn't.

    Maybe the first page of Mozart 39: say mm.13-21 and 14 before letter A to letter C. This would contrast the Beethoven on many levels and typically is not one of the more dreaded Mozart passages.
  3. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    Rather than trying to dazzle the judges with flash-trash, I would choose a piece that I play exceptionally well. You need to be confident that if someone comes to the audition with the same piece as you, you will be the one who plays it better.
  4. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    I second this, rather than trying to play something that you *think* may impress the panel, play something that you can play well. Especially something like the Dragonetti.If you haven't already been working on it, a month is not enough time to get it together. Eccles is generally a good choice, or any other such piece that you have been working on.
    Also, I agree with Ben's advice on contrasting your excerpt of choice with the Beethoven. That Mozart is tough, but definitely not as much as other Mozart symphonies. Also, Mozart 35 1st movement 1st page would be a good one. Or Brahms 1 Letter E.
    It might also be a good idea to find a local bass teacher to take a couple lessons to help you in the audition process. And he/she could help you pick pieces that would best fit your abilities.
    Good luck! Tell us how it goes!
  5. Oh come now, nobody takes the Dragonetti that seriously. It's a lousy piece.
  6. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Hal Robinson apparrently won the princ. position in Nat'l Symp playing this piece.
    I doubt he played this lousy piece lousy.
  7. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    My whole point was that in an audition situation one should choose quality over difficulty. I'm sure that we have all heard the stories of cellists winning auditions using the swan as their solo.

    As for the concerto itself, I don't really understand how wide arpeggios in D-Major consisting mostly of harmonics demonstrate great intonation or technique. Perhaps a piece in E-major or a similar key would be better, as there are fewer harmonics to use as crutches.

    Regarding the Dragonetti, Homer told me that it was "not a great piece of music, but a good exercise". In all, we spent 4 weeks on the piece, and he treated it as an etude. Thanks.
  8. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah I'm with Ken on this one...but I'm also a sucker for mirror balls, straight beats, and slammin' bass.

    If there's one recorded performance of bass and bow left on this planet after the apocalypse, I pray to God that it is Gary Karr's version of the Dragonetti Concerto. It's the first and last piece that makes me proud to lug an instrument that will forever be able to kick my ass in an arm-wrestling contest.
  9. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    It is a good etude. you can learn your arpeggios, scales, and even some harmonics. Great. It is not a great audition piece. The original poster did not have a lot of time to prepare a piece, nor did he have a lot of experience, and while I sure YOU are impressed by something so average, it would not be in the kid's best interest to frantically learn something like the dragonetti for an audition in such a short amount of time. And like most bass concertos, they are more often than not played badly. Not what you want when auditioning. The purpose of the concerto is to display technique AND musicality, among other things, which is why the Eccles is so commonly suggested.
    Yes, I may be young, but I also do not go around judging people by their profiles and more specifically, their age, and interesting habit you seem to have picked up. So congratulations, you're old, judgemental, and have a shrine to the great dragonetti and his concerto.
    I had responded to this thread because I found the term "flash trash" amusing. I have worked on and performed the dragonetti, and I'm sorry but it's pretty bad, as is most bass solo rep unfortunately.

    I'm sure 30 years ago it was quite an accomplishment to play the dragonetti concerto. Since we're going to be judgemental, I have read many of your posts and frankly I don't like your style. Times have changed, and no one finds your holier-than-thou "advice" very helpful. I couldn't even imagine being your student. Probably a Simandl/Dragonetti fest. (which was all the rage THIRTY YEARS AGO)
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Having been on both sides of auditions I can say, with some degree of certainty, that an "easier" piece played really well and musically will impress much more than a "difficult" piece played as if someday it will be better. Especially behind a screen they are listening for the musical personality of the player not the difficulty of piece that they are playing. I believe this is what the original post was asking about.
  11. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    I'll second that. It is pretty safe to assume that at a given audition someone is gonna play a solo nearly dead on. That has to be a given and a nearly dead on solo will get attention. The deciding factor though (assuming that at least two folks nail their solos) is almost always going to come down to musical aspects like phrasing, tone, control, dynamic contrast, etc... So, you should play something that you know you can nail to the wall and still have enough brain power to add something special so that the judges will remember you more than someone else.