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Topic: Questions about audition guidelines  (Read 1299 times)

Offline chopincat

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Questions about audition guidelines
on: October 06, 2015, 03:17:14 AM
Right now I'm toying with the idea of applying to double degree programs rather than just BA music programs, and I'd like to get a better understanding of what the audition requirements are as they are somewhat vague. I just want to know if I'm in way over my head or not.

"A work by J. S. Bach" - would anything from the WTC be fine for this? Or are they specifically looking for for the super complex stuff with 4+ voices?
"A movement of a classical sonata" - obviously they would never want to hear Beethoven op.49 for example, but once again, are they only looking for the big stuff, like the Appassionata or the Waldstein? Would something from, say, Beethoven op. 2 or op. 10 be acceptable?
"A movement or work from the romantic era" - I noticed they didn't use the word "substantial" like some conservatories do, which to me implies Chopin Ballades and the like. Does that mean that less "substantial" romantic works would be fine, like Chopin Nocturnes or Schubert Impromptus? If not, would a challenging but shorter work like a Chopin Etude work?
"A work composed in the 20th or 21st century" - are they looking for something crazy and difficult/something that really pushes the envelope? Would a piece that isn't all that difficult or unique in terms of tonality and meter be considered uninteresting? Would a piece under 5 minutes be too short?
"A work of your choice" - since an etude isn't one of the requirements, would they be expecting you to choose an etude or some other difficult piece that shows virtuosity?

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Questions about audition guidelines
Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 05:30:27 PM
1.  Any Bach WTC prelude and fugue is fine except for of course the c major one from book 1
2.  Anything but a Chopin nocturne is fine.  As for Schubert impromptus, I'm not THAT familiar with them but you don't wanna do anything too easy.  I know that there are a few difficult Chopin nocturnes but I remember a professor saying spdcifically NO nocturnes
3.  Any Beethoven besides op 49 and the moonlight sonata would work
4.  Don't worry about it being too tonal or too atonal.  Just find something you'll play well.  Under five minutes is fine
5.  If they expected you to bring in an étude they would just tell you to bring an étude.  Just play something you enjoy.

You seem to be focused on really hard pieces.  I think it's good to have maybe like one REALLY hard set the piano in flames piece but other than that just pick stuff that you like and can play well.  Oh and ask your teacher for advice.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline chopincat

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Re: Questions about audition guidelines
Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 07:09:55 PM
Thank you!

I'm actually more concerned about playing pieces that are too easy. I don't think I could play the Waldstein or a Chopin Ballade well, but I worry that those are the only types of pieces that are acceptable! I'm glad to know that's not the case.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Questions about audition guidelines
Reply #3 on: October 10, 2015, 05:43:50 AM
Looks like you've gotten your answer already, but I'll throw in my 2 bits.
For the Bach, you don't need to do the C# minor 5 voice fugue, but I'd go a bit more advanced than say, the C minor P+F.
For the Beethoven, keep in mind that pieces like Waldstein and Appassionata are things that you play AT music school a lot, not necessarily things you play to get in. Any of the Op. 10 sonatas should be fine. Stay away from the Moonlight, and the Pathetique unless you can play it really damn well.
For the romantic era, Schubert impromptus would definitely work, and I think the harder Chopin nocturnes would work as well, especially either of the opus 62 or opus 48. You could also go with a Schumann multimovement work such as the Walderszenen if that's your thing, but unless you can base your program around that so that it isn't too long, I'd stay away from it. There's also Mendelssohn, if you want to do some of his harder stuff.
For the 20th/21st century, technically mid-late Debussy & Ravel would work. They also got more and more impressionistic as time went on, so take that into consideration as well.
I'd recommend Scriabin for that, myself, being partial to his preludes.
For the work of your choice, choose a piece that you love. Whether it be the Chopin etude you've inquired about, or a Schubert impromptu, or what have you. Since it's a work that you love, you'll probably play it better than recommendations off an online forum.
Anyways, hopefully I added enough to this thread to not make things even more dull. Good luck with your audition!
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