Mozart no.3 too easy?

February 12, 2007 at 03:05 AM · So...

I finally have a study violin teacher and she wants me to play the mozart violin concerto no.3 and... I'm thinking thats its a little too easy to play for my youth symphony audition. I want to stay in the violin 1 section cuz I've been there for 2 years so... its not like I can't do it again but i think that maybe the mozart is too easy? in the audition we only play a minute or less of the piece and there's nothing really "special" in the Mozart in the beginning. also its either the mozart or... bach concerto in a minor.. thats SUPER easy... I dunno. my orchestras motto is... its not what you play its how you play it... should I just get mozart down perfectly and be ok with it? HELP.


BTW the orchestra wants asta level 4 or higher and both mozart and bach are 4....

Replies (32)

February 12, 2007 at 03:06 AM · Believe me, you can tell everything in the first four measures of a Mozart concerto.

February 12, 2007 at 04:12 AM · mozart is probably the BEST thing to play for any audition if you can play it well (in tune, good phrasing, bow control).

February 12, 2007 at 04:30 AM · If you can get the Mozart down perfectly, do it! Then live happily ever after performing it around the world. Good luck!

February 12, 2007 at 04:36 AM · If there's one thing that I cannot stress more, it's that playing Mozart well is one of the most difficult things for any violinist. I'm not trying to be discouraging.

What I mean is that Mozart is transparent. Whatever technical issues you have will be easily visable. To make matters worse, playing so that the phrases are musical requires solid technique.

All the above being said, I would like to encourage you to play this piece. No matter how difficult, I am sure that you have enough technique to show off so that you will make a good impression. Experienced teachers know how to judge a student no matter what their level of playing. What's most important is that you give a confident performance and that you sing.


February 12, 2007 at 10:41 AM · "nothing special"?... Besides being great music, your audition committee will hear if you can phrase, count accurately, shift accurately, play finger patterns with accurate intonation, play with proper style, maintain a steady beat, etc., etc., etc.

February 12, 2007 at 11:43 AM · Greetings,

Mozart 3 (4 or5) is a standard work for an orchestra seat just about anywhere in the world. That about sums it up.



February 12, 2007 at 02:25 PM · I was just listening to the second movement of this piece. Very beautiful. How do you play this piece? It's rare that it sounds right when students play. Is it in the accuracy?


February 12, 2007 at 02:42 PM · God, Mozart is especially difficult. As a rule, no student whether prodigy or not plays Mozart Concertos "correctly". Correctly meaning to my particular tastes.

Don't play Mozart, but if you play it super super well -- competition well, then go for it. I'm sure that'll get you first violins.


February 12, 2007 at 03:09 PM · If it is so hard to play right, wouldn't it imply that it is not a good piece for a competition or an audition?


February 12, 2007 at 08:13 PM · And it implies the person judging you knows this... Mozart is hard stuff -- but you HAVE to learn some,, so bleh...


February 12, 2007 at 11:01 PM · Greetings,

Ihnsouk, you have part of the answer. Yes, Mozart is incredibly hard to play accurately. Every slight flaw thwacks the listener between the eyes. There are some otehr aspects though.

First one has to recognize that the cocneetros are actually really chamber music but not... finding this balanced relationship with the accompaniast, or rathe rpartner takes a very high level of artistry. Second, I perosnally feel that Mozart basically thought from the perspective of singing. His cocnertos are profoundly influenced by his operas. It takes a long time to find the relationship between the voice and the violin. Many players don`t and have greta careers notwithsdtstanding.

Third, related to the previous, the range of power use din Mozart cocnertos is considerably less than say the Brahms or the Tchaikovsky. This presents quite a problem to the player who is obliged to find great depth of expression within a limited dynamic range though color, contrast, bow nuance and so on. Up to a point one can get away with palying really loud and soft and being called expressive in romantoic music. In Mozart one has to do more with less.

Then there is the problem of tempos. This varies form individual to individual, but ther eis always an exactly right pulse that operates across the movements and brings the works together as a cohernet whole. The ability to find this core pulse and then play freely is one of the major challenges one faces. Oistrakh wa sa master of this.



February 13, 2007 at 12:19 AM · Mozart is not easy. See my reply on the "what concerto next" thread, if you like. :)

February 13, 2007 at 01:51 AM · Amid all the intonation, rhythmic, and tempo issues don't forget to "go for it"; there is nothing duller than a wimpy Mozart concerto.

February 13, 2007 at 03:10 AM · For an audition you should play what you play best. You should play the piece you are most comfortable with, and which best shows your strengths. However, never choose something that you will play sloppily no matter how impressive some aspects are. Many inexperienced auditioners make the mistake of choosig a piece that is too difficult.

So, by all means, choose the Mozart if it meets those criteria. If it doesn't, choose something else.

February 13, 2007 at 04:23 AM · I'm glad Buri took time to answer further... He's completely on target. That's exactly how I feel -- and that is why Mozart is difficult.


February 13, 2007 at 05:18 AM · If I remember correctly, for the most recent audition I played, Mozart 3 was included. It was actually loads of fun, because there was much to work on and so much of it was about how to tackle musical demands. It also seems you can tell so much about a player's tone and style from hearing only a few lines from this work. The key is whether you enjoy the work. If you play a piece you enjoy, the people listening to you will enjoy it too. (cliche I know but true)

February 13, 2007 at 08:20 AM · The neuroticism that Mozart brought into my life will haunt me to my grave.

February 13, 2007 at 11:53 AM · Vince - I agree, Buri's detailed explanation is to the point and quite helpful. It is so thorough and you get the feeling that everything there is to say is said.

"Go for it", Willie, That really sums it up doesn't it?

Maura - I read your post and I have this picture of you pulling your hair out. I bet it sounded superb at the end.

Emily - To listeners, Mozart only brings joy, no neuroticism. Thank goodness, I am only a listener.


February 13, 2007 at 04:20 PM · Thanks Ihnsouk. :) Yeah, it sounded pretty decent by the end...although I have to resurrect the 2nd mvt for a competition in a week, so wish me luck (and no more hair-tearing)!

February 13, 2007 at 05:47 PM · Ggod luck, Maura. Let us know how it goes.

I studied Mozart #3 with the best (and greatest) teacher I ever had, long ago, Rene Benedetti in Paris. So, I have a special feeling about it (and still have the version of it he edited with his further edits if anyone is interested). Anyone who says Mozart is somehow too easy for an audition is nuts.

February 13, 2007 at 07:05 PM · PoE PoE,

Antal Szalai plays it here; unfortunately a short clip of just "the easy bits in the beginning"...

Antal Szalai Mozart#3

If you search youtube you will see a few clips of students playing. Then you can decide how easy it is.

February 14, 2007 at 07:18 PM · Mozart 3 is NOT too easy.

I live in Tampa. TBYO is looking for skill and comfort with your instrument. The mozart is very technical. As well as the Bach in A minor. Yes both pieces are not hard to play, but to play well paying close attention to all expressions and techniques, that is the hard part. TBYO definitely is about "how" you play not "what"

Go for either the Mozart or the Bach, in the end. you will not be dissapointed.

Good Luck

February 15, 2007 at 06:32 PM · From what I'm told, if your orchestra asks for excerpts those are the most important. The concerto is sort of something to get comfortable with, but they really listen to the excerpts. I know someone who went into a youth orchestra audition playing a slow movement of solo Bach, played her excerpts well, and got a great seat. So I would really focus on those. And Mozart is tough - if you can play it well that will really impress the judges.

February 15, 2007 at 07:43 PM · Mozart - easy? That's news to me! All the Mozart i've butche..uh, played is friggin TOUGH!

February 15, 2007 at 08:27 PM · Greeitngs,

thats why I always buy the easier editions ;)



February 18, 2007 at 01:54 PM · After learning the notes and rhythm, what can one do to make a Mozart sound right? Just get everything as accurate as possible and hope that one's inner musicality takes over mysteriously? Or is there something tangible one can do?


February 18, 2007 at 08:30 PM · Greetings,

1) Sing it.

2) study the operas and string quartets

3) sing it.

4) read the letters

5) sing it.

6) Practice mediation- so you learn to see whta is your facade and what is really you.

7) Sing it.

8) Go kiss your partner.



February 19, 2007 at 02:21 PM · Thank you, Buri once again. I think I got the point.


February 20, 2007 at 10:46 AM ·

February 24, 2007 at 04:11 PM · SOO...

I guess i'm playing mozart...and working my butt off on it... yay. thanks so much guys! =)


February 25, 2007 at 12:38 AM · Mozart's notes aren't particularly difficult, but the intonation, and style must be absolutely perfect. None of the notes in the runs can be fudged at all. Every mistake made is easily noticable, even to the musically illiterate. In some ways Mozart is more difficult than Bruch 1 or Mendelssohn 1.

Bach is not "super easy" by any means. Bach also must be absolutely perfect.

February 25, 2007 at 12:43 AM · is there anything worth playing that IS "super easy" ?!?!?!!

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