Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy as major/standard concerto rep?

Edited: January 21, 2020, 8:28 PM · When applying to music conservatories/colleges, all ask for a movement from (usually romantic) the standard rep. Is the Scottish Fantasy a good considered a major romantic violin concerto, and a good choice when applying to these schools? If so, which movement would be better? (Some schools ask for the 1st mvt, would that be suitable?)

Replies (15)

Edited: January 21, 2020, 9:38 PM · I wouldn't consider Bruch's Scottish Fantasy a "major romantic violin concerto" but I don't see why it wouldn't work as an audition selection, provided you play it well. The panel will certainly know it, and there are enough technical and lyrical challenges in it to show you off as a player. The faculty will generally not care too much what pieces you choose (unless they are inappropriately easy). Repertoire choice should really be about what conveys your musical/technical skills best to the panel. In a normal performance, you are the vehicle for the composer's intention but in an audition, the repertoire is the vehicle for your playing skills. I hope this helps.
January 21, 2020, 10:14 PM · You can't use just the first movement from Scottish Fantasy. If you're going to use this piece for auditions, you need to prepare the first and second movements as a set, and you need to clear it in advance with the school.
January 21, 2020, 11:07 PM · hmm. I think it would be fine, but I have never seen it listed in an example for a standard concerto in an application for college, but if you really like it I would just play it. For a more we’ll known piece, maybe Bruch concerto 1?
January 21, 2020, 11:12 PM · The students auditioning for the top-tier music schools are playing Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. Bruch 1 might get you into a third-tier school.
January 22, 2020, 6:41 AM · Scottish Fantasy is on the list for Colburn, so some schools are OK with it. But they have a really wide list.
Edited: January 22, 2020, 9:47 AM · Doesn’t Colburn require complete
January 22, 2020, 10:41 AM · Among other things, the concerto requirements for Colburn Conservatory are currently as follows:

Choose one work from this list; prepare movements as indicated:

Barber, Concerto, Op. 14 (first and last movements)
Bartok, Concerto No. 2 (first and second movements)
Beethoven, Concerto in D Major, Op. 61 (first movement)
Brahms, Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 (first movement)
Bruch, Concerto #1 in G minor, Op. 26 (first and last movements)
Bruch, Scottish Fantasy (entire work)
Conus, Concerto in E minor (first movement including cadenza)
Dvorak, Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (first or third movement)
Ernst, Concerto in F# minor (first movement)
Glazunov, Concerto (complete work)
Karlowicz, Concerto in A Major, Op. 8 (first movement)
Khachaturian, Concerto (first movement)
Korngold, Concerto (first movement)
Lalo, Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21 (two movements required: either first or fifth PLUS either second, third, or fourth movements)
Mendelssohn, Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (first movement)
Paganini, Concerto #1 in D Major, Op. 6 (first movement including cadenza)
Prokofiev, Concerto #1 in D Major, Op. 19 (first movement)
Prokofiev, Concerto #2 in G minor, Op. 63 (first movement)
Saint-Saens, Concerto #3 in B minor, Op. 61 (first movement)
Shostakovich, Concerto (last movement beginning at cadenza)
Sibelius, Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 (first movement)
Tchaikovsky, Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 (first movement)
Walton, Concerto (entire work)
Wieniawski, Concerto #1 in F# minor, Op. 14 (first movement)
Wieniawski, Concerto #2 in D minor, Op. 22 (first and last movements)
Vieuxtemps, Concerto #4 in D minor, Op. 31 (first and last movements)
Vieuxtemps, Concerto #5 in A minor, Op. 37 (first movement including cadenza)

Complete details here:

January 22, 2020, 3:44 PM · Don't get suckered into choosing a certain piece just to be different.
January 22, 2020, 4:55 PM · One wonders just how the Karlowicz ended up on that list. It's not a composer I've ever seen before and it's not standard repertoire in any way.
January 23, 2020, 11:37 AM · I didn't know Karlowicz either. I just read his Wikipedia page. He died at the age of 32, so he should be almost as good as Schubert. The presence of his concerto on this list means that the people who wrote the list have been in academia too long. :)
January 23, 2020, 12:04 PM · Paul this colburn the people are just knowledgeable and not academics as this is not a research university.
January 23, 2020, 3:17 PM · Mary Ellen - with all respect, auditioning with any concerto that is pristine, elegant, and intuitive could garner an audience or acceptance into nearly any school. Folks have made it into the Cleveland Orchestra with the Bruch g minor...and my teachers at CIM dreaded "yet another shabby Tchaikovsky or Sibelius". When I sit on the jury for concerto contests, the best prepared/most pristine performance will get my vote, regardless of the work (assuming it's in the performance repertory...we're not talking Vivaldi a minor). Mozart 3 has won before. Bruch g has won before. Wieniawski F sharp, yes...but long gone are the days when the concerto choice might give away the level of the student.

That being said, my college audition concerto was the Scottish Fantasy (1st and 4th movements), and I would come to learn that I was the only one at each of those schools who auditioned with it.

January 23, 2020, 3:59 PM · Karlowicz is a great concerto firmly in the romantic tradition. Even a layman should be able to get a good grasp on a player's technique from the opening alone (Like first 30 seconds), so a jury's ignorance shouldn't be much of a factor.

It's played often in Poland, but it's becoming more and more known outside of Poland. It's really down to the composer dying young and programming bias where Polish music after Chopin has gotten short shrift until essentially Penderecki. Szymanowski's concertos have slowly been asserting their deserved place in the repertoire, but it's really not that hard to come across the work of composers like Karlowicz or Bacewicz if you are curious.

January 23, 2020, 4:15 PM · Andrew, yes, of course, but a well played Sibelius is going to beat a well played Bruch.
January 23, 2020, 8:43 PM · Mark I'm just kidding around. I have no idea what sort of people populate a conservatoire faculty, truthfully.

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