Ideally, how long should an audition solo piece be? (time wise)
I'm planning to audition for a local youth symphony and one of the prerequisites is a "solo piece" [in verbatim]. There's no specification on /what/ it should be exactly (I'm veering away from sonatas though, bc of the piano accompaniment which isn't allowed anyway).
I have a few 'solo pieces' that I'd consider playing, but all are either too short (<2 minutes) or too long (>5 minutes) in my opinion. My violin teacher is out for about a month for personal reasons, so I can't ask him at the moment and I'd rather start preparing early.
I'd do the >5 minute piece. They will stop you when they have heard enough.
Pedagogically, I think the best thing for most students is, if the piece is a concerto, to prepare the exposition (the section which ends when the orchestra comes back in loudly with the melody).
Play the longer piece assuming you have it prepared at a high-level. They will stop you when they’ve heard enough. This is standard.
I had a classmate who gamed this by learning page 1 from Tzigane. She would have been hosed if anyone had wanted to hear more,
I think trying to game this is a bad idea. I told this story before but it fits here: I prepared Bach a-minor concerto and figured the first movement was plenty. As it was the conductor asked for the piano score and accompanied me. We played through the first movement. Then the conductor asked me to go on into the second and started with the tutti (much slower than my teacher had recommended). At the end of the first solo section the violin line rises up to a g and I messed up, producing horrible intonation (a little like that horn passage in Mozart's "Musikalischer Spass"). That was when he stopped me.
More likely the conductor realized you had not prepared the slow movement (because anyone would have practiced that rising arpeggio to death) and decided to spare you any further embarrassment. The 2nd movement of the Bach A Minor is a gem of the literature. I wouldn't want to hear it butchered either.
I had a similar thing happen to me Albrecht, over 20 years ago, except my result was the opposite of yours: my violin teacher had me prepare the Bruch 1st movement for a university orchestra audition (I was attending a nearby college without an orchestra, so had to audition). I had the 2nd and third movements learned but not polished for an audition, and my teacher insisted that after hearing the FIRST PAGE of the first movement the committee would be satisfied so there was no point in me preparing the remainder of the concerto movements as I was already "over prepared" by having the first movement prepared.
I don't understand this at all. If you've prepared the first movement of a concerto as a "solo piece" then you should be able to play the first movement -- all of it. If you only prepared the first page then you're rolling the dice (gaming the process), and heaven help you.
Everyone should absolutely say, "Sorry, I didn't prepare that," if you didn't prepare something.
Pamela M--sounds like one of my nightmares. I think you are to be commended for being able to get through the whole movement even though your teacher psyched you for playing only the first page.
In my instance, I had stated that I had only prepared the first movement for the audition and was still polishing the second/third, and the committee asked me to go on anyway and being the obedient student I went on anyway. It was a terribly embarrassing experience; I was very young and vastly unprepared for how to handle myself in a situation like that.
On the “sorry, I didn’t prepare that” front, I have been present for two different conducting auditions where a candidate had prepared the wrong piece. First was in college— I was in the Beethoven Septet and went to greet that night’s person. He nearly lost his teeth when he saw my violin; he was prepared to do the Wind Sextet. A noble job of sight-reading after furtively borrowing a miniature score, but he didn’t get the job.
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