Repertoire Suggestion

Edited: June 16, 2018, 9:12 AM · I want to learn a new concerto over the summer, and really need some suggestions. I have played Saint-Säens No. 3, Wienaski No. 2, Lalo Spanish Symphony, and just recently finished Khachaturian. My teacher didn't give me much advice, just to choose something I would like. Of course I love all of the great ones, Tchaikovksy, Brahms, Sibelius, but I think they are WAY out of my league. Also, I want to choose something appropriate for auditions in December. Thank you so much in advance for any suggestions or comments you may have!

PS. If you would like to recommend some other pieces or anything which might be good for my level, and improving technique, I would be extremely grateful!

Replies (12)

Edited: June 16, 2018, 9:27 AM · Try Conus.

It's fluffy but I think its pretty and fun to play. It's a handful but certainly not unmanageable given your repertoire.

Have you played the Wieniawski polonaises?

June 16, 2018, 10:10 AM · How about Prokofiev?
Edited: June 16, 2018, 11:54 AM · It's about time to learn Mendelssohn or Bruch G. Goldmark is good also.
June 16, 2018, 12:39 PM · Yes yes ... Bruch and Mendelssohn ... I assumed she did those if she did all those other fancy numbers. Maybe bad assumption.
June 16, 2018, 12:46 PM · What's the audition? If it's high-stakes (like a conservatory audition) your teacher should definitely have an opinion on what would be the most appropriate thing to play. (If they don't, this is a major concern, since high-stakes audition prep should be top priority.)

June 16, 2018, 12:57 PM · I would not study Mendelssohn with a teacher who is not intimately familiar within how to teach the piece. It requires a different level of teaching than pieces like Bruch or Symphonie Espagnol.

Just my 2 cents.

June 16, 2018, 5:11 PM · Wow! Thank you all for your replies! I wasn't imagining so many haha.. So to respond to a few:

Ryan, Yes! I played Conus! I love that concerto I can't believe it's not so well known as it should be. Have not tried the Polonaises. I will have to give them a look.

Paul, when choosing Khachaturian my teacher also had in mind Prokofiev, but now one of my classmates will play it so I don't think it's right to be a copycat haha.

Bruce, I haven't played any of those, I really like Mendelssohn, but hope it's good for an audition. I haven't looked at it much, but am worried that maybe the judges will think it's too easy. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's a really good concerto for an audition.

Lydia, I am auditioning to a few high level conservatories, and to others which would probably be easier to get accepted. I think when I get back in the fall my teacher will definitely have something more to say about audition repertoire, I am just taking my own initiative and starting to prepare my own repertoire to see if he will say "Oh, yes! That's a great idea" or "Maybe for an audition let's play something else"

Ryan, Thanks! I will consider that!

Again, thanks to all!

June 16, 2018, 7:59 PM · I don't think Sibelius is any harder than one of the Prokofievs, and judging from what you've already played, I think you could probably handle it.

Mendelssohn, in my opinion, is not a great audition concerto because of those octaves on the first page. One little dose of nerves and the octaves are out of tune. Not a great first impression. But if you've never played Mendelssohn, it's high time you did.

Scratch Frantically? (er, Bruch Scottish Fantasy?)

June 16, 2018, 8:46 PM · Starting a concerto in the fall (September?) sounds a bit tight for a December conservatory audition. I think you want plenty of time to polish whatever it is that you intend to play.

You could pick either Prokofiev No. 1 or No. 2 -- whichever your classmate isn't playing. Both of those have tricky openings from the perspective of requiring control, though, which is tough when you're nervous.

Edited: June 17, 2018, 7:52 AM · No, Mendelssohn is not good for auditions. The opening of Prok 1 needs to be played incredibly beautifully, so I think Prok 2 is better for auditions because it shows off a lot of different things. You should also consider Paganini #1 with the Wilhemj cadenza. It's not as difficult as you might think and good for a younger player.

Korngold could work well. The first movement is not too long and this will set you apart from the crowd all playing Sibelius.

June 18, 2018, 9:49 AM · Lydia, Thank you for your suggestions! I will probably talk with my teacher soon to see what he recommends, but he always prefers for me to find something on my own and be kind of more independent. So I am glad I have some ideas which I can mention to him.

Bruce, Yes, I thought so. My classmate is playing th 1st one. I don't think I can play Paganini yet, but maybe I am wrong. I will definitely take a look at the score. I love Korngold! I just didn't know if it was a good audition concerto. Thanks for the suggestions!

June 18, 2018, 12:06 PM · What about Mozart? If you've been doing a lot of romantic concertos, it would be a whole set of new problems to master.


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