Do you ever have to play longer than the exposition in an audition?

Edited: May 1, 2018, 10:59 AM · Hi everyone,

I'm currently learning Mozart Concerto No.5 and was just wondering, do orchestra audition panels ever hear more than the exposition in an audition, or do they always stop you after the exposition? (I hope so since the recap in Mozart No.5 is so difficult!)


Replies (13)

Edited: May 1, 2018, 7:30 PM · Youth orchestra, college orchestra, community orchestra, or professional orchestra audition?

The recap of Mozart 5 isn't / shouldn't be any more difficult than the exposition, really. (If you choose a standard cadenza, the cadenza will be more difficult than the rest of the first movement though.)

Edited: May 1, 2018, 4:01 PM · My committees never heard any of my prepared pieces in their entirety. But if your committee is calling for "a movement," then be sure you've mastered the whole movement. Better safe than sorry.

For an audition, I personally would offer only a prepared piece that I had mastered well ahead of time -- and, let us hope, successfully performed in recital. I see quite a few writers here on who appear to be "cramming" for auditions and recitals. I hope this isn't the case with you -- no idea when your audition is.

May 1, 2018, 4:10 PM · We just had a thread in which someone talked about botching an audition because she hadnt learned the entire movement of the Brahms up to audition standard (and they did want more than the expo, I guess.) That was for competitive grad program auditions. YMMV
May 1, 2018, 4:41 PM · In an audition for a section viola seat in a semipro orchestra, I was stopped about halfway through the exposition of my piece and asked to skip straight to the development. I assume an audition panel at any decent level may do something similar.
Edited: May 1, 2018, 8:47 PM · For my orchestra, we hear the first 3 minutes (more or less, depending on if there's a logical stopping point) of a major concerto, or the exposition of a Mozart concerto.

Auditioning for college or graduate school is completely different. I would never suggest that anyone take less than a fully prepared movement or piece, depending on their requirements, to something like that.

May 2, 2018, 8:11 AM · Thank you all for your comments! I suppose I should prepare the rest of the movement in just as much detail as the exposition, as Jim said: better safe than sorry!
Edited: May 2, 2018, 8:18 AM · You're learning a Mozart concerto for life, anyway. There's no reason not to learn it thoroughly. :-)

Note because Mozart 5 is not technically difficult, what you're really demonstrating at the audition is the ability to play it completely cleanly, with full control, in the appropriately stylistic manner.

May 3, 2018, 6:49 AM · I think it's safe to say that the further you advance in an audition, the more material you should have prepared. If it's really close final round, they may want to start hearing you play more of the concerto (or excerpts). Especially if it were to come down to people playing the same concerto.

"Note because Mozart 5 is not technically difficult..."

Ehh? I find it pretty #$%^& difficult.

May 3, 2018, 11:42 AM · I was just thinking that Mozart 5 is HARD!
Edited: May 3, 2018, 11:44 AM · lol I think you missed one of the two negatives.

But in the grand scheme of violin playing it isn't tremendously difficult in terms of notes (you wouldn't say it even approaches a piece like Saint Saens 3 in terms of difficult passagework, would you?) . It's the style that's more challenging.

The ability to control the speed of the bow properly and maturely in conjunction with the phrasing is essential to good Mozart playing.

I don't let students touch a Mozart concerto until they can demonstrate mastery of this in a piece like Haydn G major.

May 3, 2018, 2:19 PM · The intent of my sentence was the difference between "the difficulty of being able to get the pitches" and "the difficulty of actually playing it well". In other words, Mozart is revealing; the difficulty is in making it immaculate.
May 3, 2018, 3:51 PM · It can be hard to predict. I have personally been heard on everything from a single page of a work, to an entire movement.

I knew a professor who said that at auditions for his school, that he felt that he could always tell the demeanor of someone who had fully prepared the entirety of the required repertoire from the demeanor of someone who had only prepared the exposition, or beginning of a piece. For those he thought to have only prepared parts of each piece, he said that he would have them start, and then after about a minute or so, make them skip either to the last page, or a part known for being especially difficult. Many times, the applicants ended up crashing and burning.

I witnessed a similar thing at a competition I was a semi finalist in. Every violist played the Andante and Hungarian Rondo by Weber, and was asked to skip by the violist on the panel after a couple of minutes to the part on the last page with all of the fast arpeggios and the 3-octave run at the end. Almost everyone completely bombed it.

May 6, 2018, 10:01 AM · I just realized that I must have been the one who misread Lydia's post.

I thought it said "Not because Mozart 5 is not difficult...." instead of "Note.." when I first read it.

Oh well, my sentiment stands either way.

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