audition piece options

December 4, 2022, 1:53 PM · I’m in high school and am trying out for all state, my lesson teacher gave me 3 pieces to choose from; Scène de ballet, Haydn concerto in G major, and Mozart third concerto. He left it completely up to me to decide, I’m leaning towards the de Bériot because it’s more showing off, but I could polish off the Haydn or Mozart more. The only real auditions I’ve ever done were for my community orchestra so I’m not great at this :’) thoughts?

Replies (10)

December 4, 2022, 4:50 PM · I haven’t learned this Haydn piece in particular but I’ve played more difficult pieces. The de Beriot is a bit harder than the Mozart in my opinion, but I also haven’t done more than skim through them a few times so I don’t know
December 4, 2022, 5:23 PM · Which de Beriot? Substantial difference between say 9 and 1.

I think my daughter did Hayden, then Viotti 22, now finishing up de Beriot 9, starting some solo Bach, and will be taking up Mozart 4 next. She will likely play one of these for her pyramid audition in the spring (she’s in 7th grade).

My understanding of auditioning for all state (and youth orchestras in general) in this region is that they want to see fast passage work, and ability to play high positions well. If that’s true for where you live, choose accordingly. Obviously, a lower difficulty piece, played to perfection, is better than a so-so difficult piece.

December 4, 2022, 5:27 PM · Sue,
It’s the beriot Scene de Ballet, not concerto. :)
December 4, 2022, 7:42 PM · Totally missed that, Buri. Thank you.
December 4, 2022, 8:30 PM · Which state? I'm surprised there are not prescribed audition materials such as excerpts. At minimum there should be parameters such as maximum time allowed, etc. I'm having trouble envisioning an all-state orchestra audition that would invite participants to play an entire Mozart concerto (even just the first movement) with cadenza.

The Scene de Ballet would make a great audition piece, but he first rule is to play something you can play really well. The Haydn G Major is something you should be able to "hit out of the park" if you have already completed Mozart No. 3 to a reasonable standard. The little Kuechler cadenza at the end of the first movement is not that hard, but it'll be impressive if you can really nail the double stops. The cadenza you learned for the Mozart 3 (probably Franko or Flesch) is longer and much harder.

December 4, 2022, 8:36 PM · All things being equal, it doesn't matter which work you play, provided you play it well.

I've listened to a lot of auditions where students come in with the idea that the committee is more interested in hearing difficult pieces than individual proficiency with playing the instrument. Yet, I would score more highly a well-executed Mozart 3 over an out-of-tune and rhythmically flaccid Bruch Concerto any day of the week.

December 4, 2022, 11:42 PM · Greetings,
Quite so Gene. A well executed Mozart 3 (that is, with superbly executed bowing, articulation, phrasing intonation etc) in many ways demonstrates a higher level of technique than a bad Bruch where all those aspects are half baked. The former player is likely to do much better in this orchestra situation in my opinion.
Edited: December 5, 2022, 5:40 AM · Echoing Gene/Buri. My daughter’s teacher said that they placed an impeccably played Rieding concerto over a ‘Meh’ de Beriot 9.

Paul, chances are pretty good that there are limitations on the solo that were not articulated here. It is likely in addition to scales and excerpts.

December 19, 2022, 3:15 PM · If these pieces have the same value for your purpose, I would completely trust your teacher who obviously thinks that you will be able to play any of those, great.

As a consequence, I’d say choose the one that you like most, right now. The piece you enjoy most, musically. This will be the best booster for your motivation and musical expression. You will have the most fun practicing it.

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