Vieuxtemps no. 4 1st movement for conservatory audition piece

Edited: April 14, 2020, 9:52 PM · How suitable is Vieuxtemps no. 4, 1st movement as the concerto to audition considering its level of difficulty and how short it is (just shy of 6 minutes excluding the long accompanimental introduction at the start)? Thanks!

Replies (15)

April 14, 2020, 2:33 PM · What schools are you considering? It makes a difference.
April 14, 2020, 3:43 PM · And what's the rest of your audition repertoire?
Edited: April 14, 2020, 3:44 PM · Lydia and Mary Ellen present decent questions. If you were in the UK I think it would be fine
April 14, 2020, 3:59 PM · I'm preparing the Loure and Gavotte en Rondeau for Bach, Paganini 16 and the Grieg Sonata no. 2 for my auditions. Looking at schools such as NEC, Peabody, Manhattan school of music, Clevland etc.
April 14, 2020, 4:12 PM · Probably should be fine, assuming you can play these pieces well. I have a friend who this year got into Peabody and NEC and he played Vieuxtemps 4 for his auditions.
Edited: April 14, 2020, 8:34 PM · I know someone who was admitted to Oberlin on Vieuxtemps 4. Not sure what the rest of the audition rep was.
April 14, 2020, 4:38 PM · It's totally fine. Also, good on you for playing this beautiful piece! The most underrated concerto for me.
Edited: April 14, 2020, 10:45 PM · Yes of course it’s definitely a fine choice if you can play it at a high level. Vieuxtemps was after all one of the most important violinist composers and educators of the 19th century.
April 14, 2020, 9:48 PM · I don't think the length is a problem, but you might want to program something with a bit more higher level technique if you are able. I would do Vieuxtemps #5 over #4 for just that reason.
Edited: April 14, 2020, 10:13 PM · I was thinking that Vieuxtemps 4 was borderline in its difficulty, and if you are pairing it with the Loure and the Gavotte en Rondeau, then I think your audition is definitely going to be on the lower level side of difficulty for the schools you listed. I would expect most candidates for NEC and Cleveland to be playing the Bach g minor adagio and fugue, or movements of similar difficulty.

I'm not saying you couldn't get in somewhere good with this program but you need to be playing it at an extremely high level to be competitive.

Edited: April 14, 2020, 10:46 PM · Susan the 3rd and 4th movements of the 4th Vieuxtemps Concerto are as technically difficult as anything to play absolutely clean in my opinion. I’ve performed both 4&5. 4 is a bit more challenging for me. The first movement of #4 has fingered octaves, 4 octave arpeggios, many passages, and lots of lyrical moments to display a player’s tone. In short, this piece will definitely show if you can play the violin. If it’s good enough for Mr. Heifetz and Hilary Hahn to play, I think it’s fine for a school audition. As Mary Ellen noted, it’s how well you play the music that ultimately means the most. I would agree on perhaps doing a Bach Sonata with a Fugue instead,
April 15, 2020, 8:32 AM · @Nate, I was mostly just comparing first movements since that is what the OP was going to play. I personally like #4 over #5 (all movements, actually), but I would still say #5 shows more to an audition panel -- especially the cadenza.
Edited: April 15, 2020, 9:18 AM · It truly doesn’t matter what standard concerto you do as long as it’s pristine.

I knew folks who made it into Colburn, Curtis, and CIM with Bruch/Mendelssohn/Conus concerti - far more accessible than Vieuxtemps 4. Remember - the panel will make up their minds in about 30 seconds, and have the next five minutes reinforce that first impression.

Preparedness, elegance, and poise as the primary goals - if the concerto is too difficult for the student, then hindsight would reveal that a clean Bruch/Saint-Saens is a better choice than a sloppy Vieuxtemps 5.

April 23, 2020, 6:54 AM · CIM is the Cleveland Institute of Music

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