Help with Next Piece

August 29, 2019, 3:51 PM · Hi everyone! I just finished playing Saint Saens Introduction and Rondo and I am very happy with how it turned out. I’m a rising 10th grader who wants to start building their repertoire for college supplements. What piece do you think I should play? I played Mozart 4, Bruch, Sarasate Intro and Tarantella recently. My teacher said he wanted to give me Ziguenerweisen but I haven’t played that many concertos and I think that is more important. Let me know! Thanks.

Replies (13)

August 29, 2019, 3:58 PM · Well what is "important" is what builds your technique I would say. So something harder but not so hard its out of your reach
August 29, 2019, 5:15 PM · You need to be learning major concertos.

I would suggest Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, maybe just the first movement, and then Saint-Saens #3 (all movements)

August 29, 2019, 9:44 PM · @Mary isn't Lalo 1st movement easier than Saint-Saens IRC technique-wise?
August 29, 2019, 9:55 PM · It is. The I&RC is quite difficult, especially the last page at full performance tempo.
Edited: August 29, 2019, 10:12 PM · Yes, Lalo 1st movement is easier than the I&RC. That being said, the OP has a very scant concerto repertoire and the I&RC is quite a bit more difficult than the other pieces he listed. Either the Lalo will not be a challenge to the OP and he will learn it very quickly, or it will be a challenge in which case he definitely will need to have worked on it (and I am curious about the actual performance level of the I&RC). Either way the Lalo is standard rep which the OP should have under his belt.

I have had similar conversations with transfer students who think that my first selection for them is "too easy." My response is always, if this piece is really too easy for you, then you will learn it very quickly and we will move on to something harder. But if it takes you some length of time to master this piece, then it was not too easy and you needed it.

August 29, 2019, 11:53 PM · @Mary @Lydia, ah I see, thanks for clarifying!

Perhaps the OP could post videos of his own playing here so that we at least have a gauge of his standard?

Also, maybe the OP could consider delving into sonata repertoire, seeing that he has not been learning any in the recent past?

August 30, 2019, 12:16 AM · Sonatas are not much fun unless you have a good pianist you can work with, preferably for free -- i.e. a peer collaborator.

Also, sonatas do not have anywhere near the same level of technical challenge as the concerto repertoire.

There are good reasons why the pedagogical sequence tends to have concertos as the foundation, with some showpieces plus solo Bach.

August 30, 2019, 3:01 AM · @Lydia that's a good point

Oh yes the OP can work on some solo Bach repertoire too!

Edited: August 30, 2019, 9:12 AM · I would say you really need to build up your concerto rep and solo Bach. I personally would not do Zigeunerweisen as your main piece — it should be easy for you after Intro and Rondo and won’t gain you more skills. The concertos you should have under your belt around now would include Lalo, Mendelssohn, Saint Saens 3, and Wieniawski. My son played 3/4 last year (also after Intro and Rondo) and none were particularly hard or took that long, but are important to know.

I would also make sure you are making headway on solo Bach...try to do at least one full Sonata or Partita each year.

August 30, 2019, 11:48 AM · Hi thank you so much! I am working on Partita no. 2 and have been working on different movements of it for a whole year now.
Edited: August 30, 2019, 12:16 PM · You’ve been working on various movements of Partita #2 for a year? This doesn’t make sense for someone who performed I&RC unless you’re including Chaconne, but even then a year is a very long time.
August 30, 2019, 1:52 PM · Sammy, do you have a video of your I&RC? If not, can you snap one with your phone and post a private YouTube link? Just the first couple of lines and the last page would be very helpful.
August 30, 2019, 1:53 PM · Canonically the next concertos in the sequence as going to be Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens 3, Wieniawski 2.

If you need a break from Spanish rep you can ask to play Barber, but I'm not sure if it's typically leaned in sequence for conservatory candidates.

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