All-State Auditions are soon. How to prepare?

March 11, 2007 at 11:16 PM · NYSSMA All-State auditions are about 6 weeks away. What should I be focusing on with my piece? I am playing Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4 in D + Joachim Cadenza, 1st Movement. Tempo: Quasi 96-100. How do the rest of you prepare for such auditions?

Replies (21)

March 12, 2007 at 01:40 AM · As Zukerman says, same as you would for anything else. At the end of the day, it's just a performance.

March 12, 2007 at 04:31 AM · Greetings,

1) play your pieces over and again in front of as many people a s possible.

2) Learn the scores of your excerpts.

2.5) Memorize your excerpts

3) Vizualize playing your piec e over and over again in fornt of an audience in a hall so that you burn out your nerves before you even get to the hall.

4) Run through the piec e in your head over and over feeling all the actions you would make if holding ths instrument and hearing the sound, vizualizing the score. When you hit a spot that doesn`t happen it means you don`t know that place.

%) Play through your program from beginning to end two or three times, building up slowly. this is for stamina.



PSI`ve got a feeling your Mozart is rather on the slow side. Of course its a quesiton of taste but it would be, in my opinion, rather hard to make this particular piec e flow at the tempo marking you indicate.

March 13, 2007 at 06:08 AM · wow thats quite easy, don't get frustrated. the most important thing the audition itself right? so play confident and know what you're doing. put the accents where they belong and giving slight bursts of vibrato for the classical sound might give you an advantage. atleast you're not doing paganini excerpts for all-state in texas.

March 14, 2007 at 01:27 AM · oh boy am i glad im not playing paganini this year :) haha. ive brought my mozart up 2 about 108, seems like a fair pace. I think muscially this piece is quite difficult to play.. the notes arent so bad tho. im focusing on playing w/ stronger emotion, thought not to much of course, its classical. Im really trying to emulate the perlman recording i have, its fantastic. My techer tends to scare me, because he changes quite a bit each time i go.. hes excellent tho, ive leanred so much.. he says hes doing it to push me because ive only got about 6 weeks left...

March 14, 2007 at 03:05 AM · >PSI`ve got a feeling your Mozart is rather on the slow side.

actually it's faster than you think. You should try playing with the recording once with a practice mute on and the cd player turned up a little. It helped me. But I didn't make all-state. That made me made, I played everything so well.

March 14, 2007 at 03:54 AM · Greetings,

Sean, it isn@t faste rthan I think. I think real slow.;)

I have been playign and perfroming this concerto including with orchestras for 25 years so I don`t fveel any need to play along with a cd or anythign like that. I am also very familiar with dozens of recordings and the tempos they use. I have tested quite a few of them with a mm.They often fluctuate quite subtantially (Oistrakh is a good case in point) however

The tempo you indicate is slowe rthan normal. period.

However, if you pull it off that is great. I have great faith in you.



March 14, 2007 at 09:57 PM · Oh, I guess I've been playing it faster than normal. I didn't play Mozart with the CD.

March 14, 2007 at 10:34 PM · Greetings,

Sean, now you`ve got me completley confused, always a good thing! ;)

To get my head straight allow me to requote your tempo inidctaion at the beignning. You said quasi 96-100 yes?

I suspetc you dont play it at this speed. It would sound very laboured. I have actually spoent a long time trying to dig into the tempo issue her ewith quite a few differnt soloiusts as well as just about eveyr CD available.

For what its worth:

Szeryng has a mean tempo hovering around 118-122

Oistrakh pulls it around more than Szeryng and his mm tempo is hard to pin down but he basically is in the 116-120 range.

The Grumiaux recording has the London Philharmonia under Leppard coming in at a slightly frantic sounding mm129 . Grumiuax enter swith his cust\omary elan at a slightly slower tempo mm126 which is just perfect. The interesitng thing is he keeps much stricter control over thetempo than the preceidng two players and the result to me is a fresher and more sparkling Mozart although I love all these recoridngs.

Heifetz is even faster.

Milstein I haven`t heard for about twenty years but I think you will find him at least up with the Grumiuax tempo if my memory serves.

Szigeti also has abrisk opening which I seem to remember tesitng at about 120 but could be wrong. He doesn`t hesitate to use a wide ranging rubato but it never makes less thna musicla sense. What would one expect form the grandmaster of music?

Questions of tempo are one of the most interresitng aspects of his music, often being the Rosetta stone thta binds a whole work toghter. When playing the concertos it is importnta to foind the links between sections of movements IE the opening slow and fast of Mozart five AND the links beteween the movemnets. Ther eis often a relationship betwene the firts and last movement tempo wise that makes for a gretaer whole.

A lot of it boils down to the particular character that Mozart was utilizing at the time. For exmaple, the movement in quesiton is what Milstein characterized as Mozarts martial style.




March 14, 2007 at 10:50 PM · I haven't been playing it with the recording. I listened then played after that. The recording I played with was Itzhak Perlman's Encores for Scene de Ballet. But I played it about Perlman's speed.

March 15, 2007 at 01:17 AM · Interesting... Our All-State auditions didn't have anything to do with the piece we are currently working on! They were excerpts from the pieces the orchestra was performing and we didn't know ahead of time what the excerpts would be.

In the words of Barnabás Kelemen, "One word to be successful in an audition is: practice. Want more than one word? Practice, practice, practice."

;-) He's a wise man.

March 15, 2007 at 10:00 PM · Well, I've always (FORCED) myself to think that All-state auditions were nothing and that everybody made it and everything. Be confident and relax your mind and think it as a game...I think that works for me... Also, right before audition, practice about 10 beats of the tempo faster...then, you won't slow down during the audition. (It works for me for slow pieces because I don't usually rush them: I like to draw out notes for my liking)

and like everybody said...PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and then relax.

March 15, 2007 at 10:34 PM · Greetings,

no,no, no.

RELAX and then practice,



March 15, 2007 at 11:17 PM · DO BOTH!!:)

April 15, 2007 at 02:41 AM · Paganini for texas all state? sheesh... i remember for MA All state it was Mozart's Concerto #4 one year, then the first movement of Kabelevsky the next, then Praeludium & Allegro...nothing difficult like paganini...

oh and to the original poster, good luck! the joachim candenza is fun, isn't it?

April 15, 2007 at 02:29 AM · i love the joachim cadenza. it's so much fun.. ive really improved as a player from playing it.

April 15, 2007 at 06:08 AM · Wait a minute, you use concerto excerpts? Not orchestral ones? Our All-State always uses an excerpt from the piece we're going to play-usually the hardest part so we don't waste rehearsal time learning it.

April 15, 2007 at 01:07 PM · The All-State in New York consists of 3 things. Scales, one or two movements from a concerto with piano accompaniment (the allowed concertos are in the nyssma manual, which tells you what movements you can and have to play, etc.) and a small sight reading. nothing to do with what the All-State orchestra will be playing the following year.

Laura, im afraid you may be a little confused. Im talking about het auditions that get you into allstate. not the seating auditions, etc.

April 15, 2007 at 01:48 PM · wait you guys have auditiosn to get in the orchestra and seating auditions thereafter? :strange:

April 30, 2007 at 01:56 AM · Ian, to get into our All-state the reqs are 2 scales (memorized) and an excerpt from the piece the orchestra will be playing. Then the seating auditions are at All-state, in front of everyone. For the seating auditions the judges just pick a random excerpt that's different from the one used to get in. It's picked on the spot, so you don't have time to practice unless you've prepared the whole piece before arriving at all-state.

Ours must be completely different.

April 30, 2007 at 10:13 AM · Laura,

yea this sounds completely different. we are required to know all 15 scales (they pick 3 at random for you to play), then you play a solo w/ piano accomonpiment and then a random sight reading. seating auditions are done the following school year at the all-state conference...

May 18, 2007 at 02:21 AM · sheesh...NY and Boston and all other state's All-state seems really hard...Georgia's is really easy.

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