Help Me Decide My Audition Piece

May 7, 2018, 3:09 PM · I have to choose a piece for an audition this week. I can choose either Bach Concerto in A minor or Melodie by Gluck/ Kreisler. They ask for a piece with both slow and fast parts and I’m really not sure which one would be better. I want to show I can shift high up but also want to show that I can play fast. Ultimately, I can’t decide which piece is more difficult and a better choice.

Replies (8)

Edited: May 7, 2018, 3:26 PM · The Bach is moderately fast from beginning to end, and iirc the Gluck is slow throughout, isn't it? I've never really connected with that piece and I don't use it in my teaching.

So how can you get both fast and slow sections from either of those pieces?

Are you sure those are your only two options? Something like the first movement of Seitz g minor would seem more appropriate for the level you seem to be referencing. It would show much more variety of musicianship than the Bach or the Gluck.

Don't get me wrong - I love the Bach and consider it one of the great teaching pieces of all time. I could go on for pages.

Edit - I just re-read your post and I think I get what your asking better now. It's not that the panel is asking for one of those two pieces, those are just the pieces you have prepared.

Go with Bach. imo.

May 7, 2018, 3:40 PM · How about Czaradas? It has both slow, lyrical passages and fast, showy passages.
May 7, 2018, 5:31 PM · Thanks Ryan for your input. I get what you are saying. I am sort of stuck between the two pieces. The Bach is probably more notable too.
May 7, 2018, 5:51 PM · I love the Gluck, and I still play it every day when I'm warming up, but I don't really think it's a good audition piece from the info you gave. The 1st movement of the Bach is significantly more technically challenging even though it only goes up to 4th position as opposed to 5th or 7th in the Gluck. It's more musically varied than the Gluck, as well, though not nearly as expressive in my opinion.
May 7, 2018, 5:55 PM · I'd go with Bach, apologize that you're aware it doesn't have any slow parts, and offer to play the opening of the Gluck in addition if they want.
Edited: May 7, 2018, 6:40 PM · I'm with Mary Ellen. You're stuck because neither of your pieces is what they want, but judges ... if they have to choose between slow and fast, they're going to want to see what you can do fast.

The Gluck/Kreisler Melodie is a gorgeous piece, something to keep at the ready forever. Great opportunity to channel your inner Kogan. I'm going to practice it again tonight because you mentioned it.

A piece that is mostly slow but has a few "hot flashes" is the Cantabile by Paganini. Don't let the word "Paganini" scare you, it's only marginally harder than the Gluck (because of the cadenza-like bits, which are short). There are lots of other things that have a slow introduction and then faster ending, like Czardas, even Mozart 5 first movement (too long for your event and a few years harder than the stuff you are playing now).

Lots of youtube videos but for the Gluck I like Renaud Capucon and for the Paganini, Leonid Kogan is definitive.

May 9, 2018, 2:50 PM · May I ask what is the audition for? And are these the pieces you're required to choose from, or this is just two pieces you happen to know? I would lean Bach in any case. The A minor lets you demonstrate bow control, steady tempo, bow control, precision in rhythm and intonation and plenty of musicianship. Will you be allowed to play the whole concerto, or just a movement? If you play the last movement of the Bach, there are enough left hand challenges that you'll impress if you can play it cleanly.
May 10, 2018, 6:37 AM · The piece to choose is the one that you can play cleanly. The Meolodie is wonderfully musical - but its very easy to screw up under pressure. The Bach is actually harder musically because - well Bach is Bach and there is no latitude for rhythmic error. However, I find that it is 'learnable' by which I mean that you can work on it and it comes out consistently. Its far more important to play a piece well than to play a difficult piece. Indeed, if this is your level of playing you should consider something that you played before either piece - something that you know that you can nail. The big advantage there is that it is far more likely that you will not suffer the ravages of performance anxiety. Does another (easier) piece come to mine?

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