Is J.S. Bach Gigue from the second partita in D minor a good audition piece?
Is J.S. Bach Gigue from the second partita in D minor a good audition piece for an orchestra. Its for a semi - professional youth orchestra. I've been told that Bach is aways a good choice for an audition - particularly a solo piece.
What does "semi-professional youth orchestra" mean? Unusual for a youth orchestra to be paid at all - do you mean "some of the people in it expect to go and study at conservatoire?"
yeah thats what i meant hehe
yup, go for it (unless you have anything more challenging prepared, of course - if you've got a decent Mozart or Romantic concerto to play, then the concerto would be better)
Usually both is asked.
It would be a pretty demanding youth orchestra that wanted both....
That is not a very difficult piece – you would really need to play it perfectly if the audition is for a high-level youth orchestra. What is the most recent concerto you have learned? How well can you play it?
Chris, if it is a better youth orchestra Bach is usually not to be played alone. This piece is the simpliest of the partitas and sonatas, a Mozart concerto at least would be good to have too.
Short answer, without knowing anything about the orchestra, probably not. Concerti are appropriate. If it's a high level orchestra, Mozart might not even be enough. Saint-Saens or Bruch, I would think.
A Mozart concerto *played well* is extremely impressive and certainly not less impressive than a Bruch g minor, first movement. The key phrase in that sentence is "played well." Alas, Mozart is frequently given to students too soon because some teachers mistakenly think of Mozart concertos as easy. They are not easy; they are harder to play well than pieces that may be perceived as more technically difficult (e.g. Bruch) because Mozart difficulty is in the right hand and in the brain.
I'm going to club myself with my carbon fiber bow if I hear one more audition with a mangled Bruch G minor opening.
That's a completely bogus response to that question, Gene. LOL
Mary Ellen, I cannot agree more!
Repertoire choice really does depend on the orchestra. I recently helped a former student choose which youth orchestra he should audition for. There were several in the area, he had just relocated and hadn't found a teacher. Just by pulling the recitals of the violinists in one particular orchestra told me that his very lovely Mozart V would under no circumstances get him in as his peers were playing Sibelius and Ysaye and all other sorts of craziness.
The problem with the D Minor Gigue is that it's got a pretty small range of techniques on display. I think at the high school level I'd be more impressed with a well-played D minor Sarabande than the Gigue.
I'm curious if, for youth symphonies, the folks hearing auditions on Bach ever wonder if this kid sounds fine in the lower positions that Bach uses, but is uncomfortable with the stratosphere.
Laydia, this happened to me at an audition in my youth. I played Bach g-minor Adagio, it went well for my state at this time. We were told to prepare one piece completly.
"I'm curious if, for youth symphonies, the folks hearing auditions on Bach ever wonder if this kid sounds fine in the lower positions that Bach uses, but is uncomfortable with the stratosphere."
My husband played a movement from the cello suites for his university orchestra audition and the conductor actually thanked him. I guess she was getting tired of hearing everyone ripping through the same three concerti with varying levels of success. It didn't hurt his seating. Of course, he played it cleanly. I'm pretty sure we had excerpts too, which were basically the technical passages from the Mahler symphony we were playing that year. I guess context is everything.
Solo Bach played extremely well is impressive.
You're making me want to go practice the d minor Allemande to make it more stellar. But I promise not to audition with it. :-)
What excerpts are you playing for the audition, and are there any other solos you're working on now (concerti, showpieces, etc.)?
Lydia in ordinary-type youth orchestras maybe that's how to steer yourself into the seconds! Not in any kind of serious orchestra obviously.
What about a medium-difficulty movement of solo Bach vs. a lesser concerto? e.g. would Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita 3 be preferable to the Kabalevsky concerto or Viotti #23
@Gene Wie - what are the characteristics of "mangling" the Bruch, in your view? :)
Evan I still think you're better off with those concertos. A cleanly, beautifully played Gavotte en Rondeau is an impressive piece (I'm working on it at present!), but it doesn't have razzle-dazzle.
The typical d Allemande is never stellar, whether its an audition, or it's a performance of a famous soloist. The typical Allemande
Marc, thank you for the input....Sometimes these parts are amazing indeed. They can go far beyond the norm
Are there any good movements, for auditions that require Bach, from the 2nd Partita besides the Chaconne?
@Chris Keating - Taking the term "ad libitum" as permission to change the rhythms that the composer wrote. Sometimes the three eighth notes (Bb/D/G) that follow the opening G are so distorted the work is unrecognizable.
If an audition requires Bach, there are better choices than the d minor sans Chaconne. I won my job with the E Major Preludio. G minor adagio and fugue; Andante from the a minor sonata also come to mind. But if you're choosing from the d minor, I would suggest Courante or Sarabande if you can play them well--they are a little harder than the Allemande and Gigue.
The E major Preludio or Gavotte en Rondeau has gotten me into quite a few youth orchestras back in the day.
Mary Ellen Goree, sorry for the late reply but the current concerto i am studying is the second movement to the Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. I think the gigue is a very easy piece to play but very difficult to play musically well and even technically.
The excerpt i was given is Mozart so i won't be playing any other Mozart for sure.
Paul Deck - i in fact played Accolay as an audition piece a couple years ago
i have polished the Bach and everyone i have preformed it for including my teacher thinks that it is at a high level and shall suffice in showing my skill. especially my bow control. i think my excerpt displays my ability in shifting into high positions quickly so i might be fine... hopefully :)
Good luck Camilla. The Gigue might be looked down upon as an easier movement and not as technically challenging as show pieces, but it's great enough to stand between the Sarabande and the Chaconne, and its emotional and musical qualities can be appreciated by anyone when it's played well.
yes, good luck!
thank you Chris and J Ray. :)
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.