college audition

September 20, 2004 at 05:11 AM · Lets just say that I can play the Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Brahms Concertos equally well. If that's the case, which one of them should I use for the college audition? Do you think the Tchaikovsky being overplayed in auditions should be a factor to consider?

Replies (13)

September 20, 2004 at 05:57 AM · I wouldn't do the Shostakovich a minor. From a listener standpoint I really don't like this piece. There are much better pieces out there I think even of that era.

The first movement is just too long in my opinion for an audition and also there are too many places in this piece where I feel you can get away with less than perfect sloppy playing. For example the way the harmonies in the second movement are written allow for inaccuracies. The same thing I think could be said about many 20th century repertoire including the Khachaturian concerto, the Bartok concertos, and forget about the new music being written today. I think this kind of music really makes the real musicians inside of us want Beethoven and Mozart more.

I think either the Brahms or the Tchaikovsky would be good.

September 20, 2004 at 06:35 AM · I'd do Brahms - although I disagree with Nate about the Shostakovich (I think it's a fantastic work) it probably isn't the best piece to play in an audition if you have the choice. Tchaik really is overplayed, and Brahms would show you as a musician and violinist. If you've got it, flaunt it.


September 20, 2004 at 10:46 PM · You're not exactly lacking in impressive options, Brian! It may be true that Shosty allows for inaccuracies, but it's so hard that that's necessary!

Seriously, all 3 of those pieces allow for many inaccuracies. The Tchaikovsky is certainly the flashiest of the 3 (we're talking first movements, right?), but unless you really play it much better than average, I'd go with Brahms. It is much less common at the undergraduate level. If you do play Tchaik much better than average, go for it.

Where are you thinking of applying? Good luck. Maybe I'll see you at audition weekends.

September 21, 2004 at 02:52 AM · Go with the Brahms. It demands both technical prowess and emotional depth. The Tchaik does as well, but I never found it to be as emotionally engaging as the Brahms.

September 21, 2004 at 03:12 AM · I agree with Milstein, do the Joachim cadenza for the Brahms...

September 21, 2004 at 03:40 AM · Thanks for your responses. I think I will do Brahms. I was going to do Shostakovich, because I figured they were going to choose the passages for me to play anyways (most colleges require entire concerto), but I think I'll switch to Brahms. It's interesting that you tell me to do the Joachim, cause I do Kreisler. I didn't do Joachim cause that's just as overplayed as the Mendelssohn Concerto.

September 21, 2004 at 03:47 AM · Definately go with the Brahms!!!

If played correctly it has a great potential and can make a big impression.

September 21, 2004 at 03:53 AM · Do you only have to do one? Man, I love the Shostakovich. I played the last movement in a is SO FUN and can really engage the audience without having the qualities of the Brahms or Tchak. Different arena. It is a different kind of playing....stylized. That much said, I'd also say go with the Brahms. I do have to say though, that the BEST comment I EVER got after playing an audition was after playing the first movement of Shosty's SECOND violin concerto. She said quote "you really need to be a violinist". It was the way she said it. Like "don't you dare do anything else with your life,...this is what you were meant to do". Kind of thing. ANyhow. I'll never forget that. Shosty can be VERY expressive.



October 30, 2004 at 03:34 AM · BRAIN BAK! I heard you play brahms at the new york string orch seminar auditions! AAAHH! i never got to say hi b/c i was warming up myself and by the time i was done you left. i'm natalia van doren. but what incredible playing! and your haffner was so clean!!! did you come all the way from FL?

November 14, 2004 at 05:28 PM · I have heard you play Brian ( If this is THE Brian Bak) and you will do well with any of these pieces.

November 14, 2004 at 05:31 PM · It is he...

November 14, 2004 at 06:45 PM · lol, you guys revived this. I have chosen to do Brahms. Even though it makes me a little nervous. I actually didn't play so well in the audition as I wanted to, but the good thing was I was able to control my nervousness. I just wasn't warmed up enough I guess.

November 14, 2004 at 08:09 PM · Good choice.

What audition was this? Did you have one already?

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