I am auditioning for a community orchestra this fall. Per its requirement: candidate should prepare a two-minute solo demonstrating lyrical and technical abilities, in addition to the excerpts.
My question. Is it appropriate to
play a cadenza from the first movement of a concerto for this type of audition?
I don't see why not.
I would think they would prefer the concerto over the cadenza. They want to hear issues relating to style--some cadenzas ignore that aspect.
It is a community orchestra I played in as the associate CM last year. The conductor and a small mixed panel will be auditioning. The excerpts are:
Play the first page or two of the concerto, not the cadenza. Community orchestras are volunteer or low-pay, there can be a wide variety of quality between orchestras in that category. The auditions are more about seating than for entrance. You don't have to have that 10 out of 10 level of technical skill. A Mozart concerto should be fine.
Competitive seating auditions in community orchestras are really quite weird. I get having auditions to determine 1st vs 2nd violins, and so that section principals can figure out how to best arrange the section (for instance, ensuring that enough strong players are properly split across inside/outside or 3-part divisi, and that strong players are scattered through the section, and that stand partners help complement each other's strengths/weaknesses), but hierarchical ranking is a bad idea, especially when it strands weak players at the back of a section.
This competitive attitude to community (amateur) orchestras across the pond is amazing - to me.
I will do the exposition of a standard concerto. Thanks.
Malcolm, in the US, orchestra auditions are normally unaccompanied. (Professional orchestras might offer accompaniment for the concerto portion, but not the excerpts.)
I've never heard of or participated in a professional orchestra audition that provides an accompanist. Maybe for a concertmaster audition when solo recitals are part of the audition but that's all.
If it's anything like the community orchestra I was a part of a while ago, you could probably find an etude or caprice that will tell the auditioner everything they need to know about your playing.
Question for you community orchestra members:
For a community orchestra, the audition is generally to ascertain your basic competence with the instrument and determine whether you are 1st or 2nd violin. For 1st violin, the "jury" is interested in seeing whether or not you can play in higher positions with good intonation and security. As such, if you play solo Bach, it should be coupled with a showpiece. If you play one of the fugues or the Chaconne flawlessly, it can probably safely be assumed that you have all the technical security you need; but if a candidate does that, one would wonder why they didn't choose a Romantic concerto instead. (Plus, non string players do not necessarily understand how difficult polyphonic solo Bach is.) It's okay to play a student concerto; if you can manage a good deBeriot 9 or the like, you can probably manage 1st violin parts.
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