Quick Viola Question
Having to choose between Brahms Op. 120 No. 1 movement 4 or Hindemith Op 11 No 4 Mvmt 1, which would be a better prescreening audition choice for conservatory? Specifically this would be for Juilliard, Manhattan School and Mannes. Thank you.
If you can play the Brahms perfectly, then definitely go with that. Would be really impressive! :) However the opening is quite difficult and most people can't play it very well... I personally would go with Hindemith (safe option).
That movement of Brahms seems to me to be one where he most possibly conceived of the work as being a viola sonata, with those repeated quavers (the 1st movement seems to me to be more naturally for clarinet - I find it quite tricky to make an upward slurred arpeggio an emotional peak on the viola, though I think on the clarinet it comes quite naturally). I think I'd take the fourth movement to an audition. I'd be interested to see James's take on my comment.
I would advise you to play whichever one you are most comfortable playing. You will not get points probably for mangling something very difficult, and you may not be able to show off the technique points you do best.