Auditioning and Truncating Rests

August 23, 2018, 7:59 AM · I'm auditioning for a community orchestra and will be playing the exposition and development of the first movement of Mozart #3 with no accompaniment. (I know, I know. Too late now.) My question is, should I count out the full duration of rests that are more than two measures? There are a few places where it's 2 full bars plus 3 beats in between phrases and often while practicing I'll truncate that and longer rests into, for example, one bar plus three beats--but always coming back in "in time". When counting out the full duration of rests that are over two measures it feels just a little too long and without purpose for this situation. Given what this is, do you think that's acceptable? If not, what would you suggest as the upper limit for including the full duration of rests?


Replies (16)

August 23, 2018, 8:06 AM · Truncate the rests. Nobody wants to sit there in silence watching you count. But yes, do come in on the correct beat.
August 23, 2018, 8:19 AM · Thanks for the quick response. One less thing to be nervous about. =)
August 23, 2018, 8:59 AM · If you're interested, we can suggest other things to be nervous about...
Edited: August 23, 2018, 9:28 AM · Ha! That may be the one thing I have covered really well. Actually, I think I'm on a good trajectory for my ability level and am feeling optimistic about it overall. Or maybe I'm just over-doing the self pep talk. Time will tell!
August 23, 2018, 9:32 AM · let us know how it went David! since you are a music education major and this is for a community orchestra I'm pretty sure you will be accepted.
August 23, 2018, 4:39 PM · Take at any rate the piano part of the concerto with you. There may be a pianist there who can sight read it or has seen it before. In my case the conductor himself accompanied me (for Bach a-minor though--and he made me go on to the second movement which I had not prepared...).

August 23, 2018, 9:00 PM · I never heard of a piano accompanist for an orchestral audition.
Edited: August 23, 2018, 9:22 PM · Albrecht, that's a compliment on the part of the conductor. You must have played the first movement so well that he wanted to hear the second. That second movement is one of the most beautiful melodic themes you'll ever hear, and if you have not worked on it you will really enjoy that. Same goes for 2nd movement of Mozart 3 by the way.

If you want a piece that has no rests then you need something like "Praeludium and Allegro" or the "Haffner Rondo". The P&A cadenza would be suitable for one of David Burgess's sawzall experiments.

Edited: August 24, 2018, 10:20 AM · I had worked on it with my teacher but I had to wake it up again. The audition was about 2 years after that. And I just prepared movement 1. I did ok on the slow movement (the pianist forced me into a much slower tempo then I liked but what can you do?), then I messed up the ascent to G--badly. Then he let me off the hook. And yes, they like me nonetheless and put me on the first stand in second violin.

And, Mary Ellen, I recommend to take the piano part along because what do you have to lose? Take it on the off chance!

August 24, 2018, 1:24 AM · A word of advice for auditions in general: You'll almost definitely make at least one mistake, perhaps even a big one, but auditioners are listening for the *big* picture far more than they care about one or two mistakes (regardless of how large that mistake is). Stay focused on the big picture and the musical message you're trying to convey, and don't let yourself get mentally/emotionally stuck on the mistake or two that you will certainly make.

If you were looking at a painting and everything was beautiful except for a couple of branches painted on a tree, you would still think it's terrific, and you'd probably just assume the painter slipped when he painted those branches. I feel that auditions are judged the same way. (And yes, in a comparison between two excellent auditions for a professional position, those two mistakes would certainly make a difference. But that's a totally different situations.)

Also, you should certainly truncate the rests if you have no accompaniment. You might want to announce that you're going to do this before you begin, though (mainly for the benefit of relieving the anxiousness you might feel when you're still not sure if they would find it acceptable).

August 24, 2018, 7:28 AM · No piano even available in the room I think was what the audition material said, so that solves that.

Erik, thanks for the advice. That's definitely something I've been working on as I've been playing for family and friends the past several weeks, along with some visualization and frame of mind stuff. I'm probably over-doing it a little bit but performance has never been my strong point, so I'm hoping every little bit counts.

August 24, 2018, 9:13 AM · If you haven't been practicing with an accompanist, why on earth would you play with a pianist of indeterminate skill, completely cold? No audition would ask for that.
August 24, 2018, 9:18 AM · Well, yeah. It was suggested above but I was never even remotely considering it, even if it turned out to be an option. =) Regardless, I appreciate all the advice in this thread.
Edited: August 24, 2018, 10:23 AM · Julie, I think a pianist would refuse to accompany unless they are sure of their skills. Also: This is a concerto. I'd agree with you if the piece were a true duo. You don't want to do that cold. But in a concerto the pianist is the one to follow, the soloist the one to lead. A competent conductor ought to be able to pull this off.

Anyway, it happened to me and worked out fine.

August 24, 2018, 4:32 PM · As far as announcing if you will be truncating rests, many auditions won't allow any speaking by the player--the committee should not have any idea who is playing.
August 24, 2018, 4:47 PM · Yes, obviously announcing the truncation of the rests won't work if it's a curtain audition or the like. But something tells me that a community orchestra isn't going to have this type of situation.

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