Piece for local competition

December 18, 2017, 4:01 PM · Hi.
I am going to play on a local competition. My teacher wants me to play Rachmaininov Vocalise, but I'm not sure if is's a good piece for competition, but rater for solo recital. It was our school pianist and our accompanist proposition and I really enjoy playing it and listening to it, but I'm not sure if the jury will see its intrinsic values. Two years ago flutist played Nocturne by Chopin really wonderfully, but she wasn't awarded any major price.
I want to bring an other piece to show off little more. I have played following concertos: Haydn concerto in G major 1st movement, 1st movement of Bach a minor and my last solo pieces were Romance by Drdla and Wieniawski Romance sans paroles (without rondo elegans). I am currently working on etudes Rovelli 9, Kreutzer 36,37,12 and some Schradieck.
I am not a suzuki student, but I am considering playing La folia from book 6. My teacher was saying something about 1st movement of a season by Vivaldi (but not Summer, she considers it as not effective). I've also brought Ballade by Enescu, but my teacher said that I'm not ready for it without more explanation.
Can you suggest me something nice? I have 10 minutes limitation. Thanks

Replies (11)

December 18, 2017, 5:13 PM · What competition are you doing? What are the repertoire requirements?
Edited: December 18, 2017, 7:36 PM · I don't have any specific recommendations and understand that you want more "technically challenging" pieces. But that kind of depends doesn't it? You can play Rachmaninoff like Perlman and I'm pretty sure you will give the jury a run for its money or play a higher level piece and sound rough.

Go for pieces that you can play fundamentally sound and polished rather than rough and unrefined. If you are eventually playing the piece as the winner juries are going to want a polished piece and not to the edge of your ability.

Also, I don't know if you get jittery and get the bow shakes, ime I tend to lose 30%+ of what I'm capable of in a solo or quartet performance because I get nervous. So in essence I definitely want a piece I know that I can play at 130% if you know what I mean?

That being said if you are entirely capable of handling the "harder" pieces than you might have an "argument" with your teacher.

Good luck!

Edited: December 19, 2017, 1:11 AM · Does your teacher think you can win, or is it so you can get performance experience? Both are good reasons, so don’t sweat it.
Edited: December 18, 2017, 9:52 PM · If the competition is coming up soon, then you should play something you already know. The Haydn is better than the Bach A Minor because it has a few double stops and a little cadenza. And you can inch the level of challenge up just a little by finding a different cadenza (I'm assuming you played the Kuchler cadenza in Barbara Barber's Solos for Young Violinists Volume 3). If you have time to prepare a totally new piece, then La Folia can be very good and impressive-sounding in my opinion. It's not excessively long. You might ask your teacher whether you are ready for the Accolay A Minor Concerto. That piece has a variety of nice violinistic elements that could make it quite appealing in a competition. It has a passage at the end that is very similar to what La Folia has at the end with some open-string double stop combinations. First movement of Vivaldi Summer is playable, but that's quite a step up from your Haydn and Bach movements in my opinion. But it's a good piece to work on (good prep for Mozart) and it can sound impressive if played cleanly, with the high-position sequence well in tune and the last page played with some fire.

By the way, if the judges are not string players, then you MUST prioritize intonation. Pianist-judged have very little respect, in my experience, for the sheer difficulty of achieving even so-so intonation on the violin. If you play a few notes out of tune, then a pianist who plays half as well as you do will win if the judges are not string players.

December 19, 2017, 12:59 AM · As it comes to competition its a cooperation of several local schools and jury members are headteachers of local schools, they are mixed as it comes to their instruments, but only string player is violist.
We are said to play a single piece or a movement of bigger piece up to 10 minutes. The competition ends with the laureates concerts and I really want to have an opportunity to play there.
As it comes to my chances, I were among laureates two years ago playing Komarowski violin concerto (after about 1.5 years of learning violin) and last year in a duo playing Vivaldi a minor concerto for 2 violins. I think that this year I also have chances of playing on laureates concert once more.
This year I also play both in solo category and in duo category. In duo category we played 1st movement Bach Concerto for 2 violins and we are thinking whether to play something new (3rd movement) or play 1st movement once more.
I've played both Haydn and Bach concerto about a year ago. I've worked on Schwarzenka cadenza instead of Kuchler. The hardest piece technique-wise was for me Romance by Drdla (shifting higher than 7th position).
I don't get shaky bow when I play, but when I am stressed I rather get shaky knees, that's much better, since you can hide it with longer dress. As it is performance-wise it's normal that I play better at home, but I also practice performance with TV accompaniment for my family and with a pianist in my school, so I don't feel such stress and perform better when I'm onstage.
December 19, 2017, 4:51 AM · It sounds like you're doing the right things.
December 20, 2017, 9:51 AM · Perlman - Israeli Concertino 3rd movement is the first thing that comes to my mind. From your description of what you have done it should be quick and easy for you to learn but shows well and I think has a bit of flash to it.

Something by Kreisler.

Svendson Romance could be nice.

I do love the La Folia also.

But, there may be reasons you are not aware of that your teacher would like you to do the Vocalise.

December 20, 2017, 11:33 AM · The vocalise is a pretty piece but it does not have the sizzle that judges are often looking for in a competition situation, especially when the judges are not string players. For pianists, faster is almost always harder, so judges who play the piano are in that mindset.
December 20, 2017, 12:59 PM · Yesterday at my lesson I had a talk wit my teacher about a piece choice. Vocalise was actually proposed to play by our pianist and she agrees that it isn't best choice. She wants me to play either Vivaldi spring (her proposition) or Corelli (my proposition), but she prefers original edition over suzuki (she was cringing about bowings in Vivaldi a minor that her other student play).
She also decided that it will be nice to play Vocalise at a final recital in July, so I will put this piece away for a while. She also starts to nag me to buy better violin. I currently play 400 dollars violin and I need an upgrade (but costs of new violin is overwhelming).
I really enjoy Kreisler pieces and I wanted to bring to her Silicene and Riguadon, but my duo partner is playing Preludium and Allegro, so I just don't wanted to repeat similar pieces. I haven't heard Svendson Romance, I must listen to it today.
Thanks you very much for your help.
December 22, 2017, 8:02 AM · Where do you get the sheet music for Enescu's Ballade? I just did a google search for it and am coming up empty handed. Would love the sheet music for it, I adore Enescu.
December 22, 2017, 1:59 PM · I've got sheet music from this page: http://www.rememberenescu.ro/ro/03/partituri.php I found link somewhere on violinist.com. I also adore his pieces, but I could't find any paper sheet music of his pieces. It was also available on Menuhin competition page, but It was removed from there.

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