\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Audition repertoire (Read 571 times)

Offline obtuserecluse

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Audition repertoire
« on: May 05, 2021, 04:35:51 PM »
Hello! I'm new here. Maybe this question and the topic in general will annoy you, so I am apologizing in advance for that.
I'm auditioning for some conservatories next year and I have two main issues. Since I don't have a teacher (can't afford one and I'm not studying in a musical high-school since 2015), I need some external advice.
So far, my audition repertoire (already learned, but the 'real' struggle begins now) consists of:
Haydn Sonata C minor, Hob.20
Bach, Prelude and fugue No.5, WTC 2
Chopin, Etude Op.10 No.11
Stravinsky Etude Op.7 No.4
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.12
Enescu Pavane from Suite Op.10

My questions are:
What do you think of it in terms of balance, of lenght, difficulty? I am aware the Liszt is almost absurd, but I adore it and it's kind of a motivation to study more.
Is playing just one movement from a suite allowed? The whole Op.10 Suite by Enescu would be too lenghty and I really want to play his Pavane.. Or Sarabande. 🤔

PS: I took this long break because I got discouraged then and took a Bachelor in philosophy and literature in the meantime. So please, don't discourage me because of my age if there is the slightest temptetation. I am stupidly fragile.

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 11:01:28 PM »
Hello! I'm new here. Maybe this question and the topic in general will annoy you, so I am apologizing in advance for that.
I'm auditioning for some conservatories next year and I have two main issues. Since I don't have a teacher (can't afford one and I'm not studying in a musical high-school since 2015), I need some external advice.
So far, my audition repertoire (already learned, but the 'real' struggle begins now) consists of:
Haydn Sonata C minor, Hob.20
Bach, Prelude and fugue No.5, WTC 2
Chopin, Etude Op.10 No.11
Stravinsky Etude Op.7 No.4
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.12
Enescu Pavane from Suite Op.10

My questions are:
What do you think of it in terms of balance, of lenght, difficulty? I am aware the Liszt is almost absurd, but I adore it and it's kind of a motivation to study more.
Is playing just one movement from a suite allowed? The whole Op.10 Suite by Enescu would be too lenghty and I really want to play his Pavane.. Or Sarabande. 🤔

PS: I took this long break because I got discouraged then and took a Bachelor in philosophy and literature in the meantime. So please, don't discourage me because of my age if there is the slightest temptetation. I am stupidly fragile.

Hello and welcome! I think it's good that you are asking questions and looking for advice/help if you feel you need it. If someone here gets annoyed by that, they have a problem, not you :)

What I have picked up from past piano professors etc. is that they enjoy people playing lesser heard works. Auditions are a slog to sit through and they'll probably hear fifteen Chopin Ballade No. 1 but probably only one Stravinsky Etude Op. 7 No. 4. Guess which piece they'll be more excited about?

Specific auditions have different rules so I would look up what the schools you are interested in say about audition repertoire. I think many auditions only give you 15-20 minutes of time or so, so if you have many or long pieces you won't be able to play it all. In one audition I did I played one movement from a Mozart sonata and the exposition of Medtner's "Sonata Reminiscenza" and a Liszt Etude, for example. If you are upfront about only bringing one movement from a specific suite I think it should be fine, as long as the audition rules don't state otherwise.

Regarding age I think you should just do what you think will enhance and bring happiness to your life, screw what people think. I know a guy who is 40 and just got into a music performance bachelor he always wanted to do and he is super excited about it.

Offline obtuserecluse

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 05:58:26 AM »
Now that's a warm and thoughtful response. Many thanks. :)
My biggest fear is having a repertoire too difficult and with pieces that are not favoured by jurors , because that was my tendency during highschool and it cost me heavily.
15-20 minutes seems quite a short time to fit a diverse display of musical abilities... In Romania, my home country, they require a whole sonata, a Bach p&f, three studies and a significant romantic era piece. It's on the other side of the spectrum lenght-wise and quite absurd, especially because students audition with Waldstein, Appassionata, late sonatas, Symphonic etudes by Schumann etc. and play them badly. So I'm venturing into the unknown, because I don't want to study here and I'm afraid of being not to well received elsewhere in Europe. Oh well.  ::)

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #3 on: May 06, 2021, 10:04:26 PM »
You are welcome, glad I could be of help!

If your repertoire seems to difficult you can always adjust, right? And worst case scenario if you don't do well this year you can always try again next year. In either case this year will offer a valuable experience. Are you planning on auditioning in one or several schools?

Offline dogperson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1482
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #4 on: May 06, 2021, 11:26:09 PM »
You’re never too old😊 a member on another forum returned to college for a piano performance degree— at the age of 62.  And yes, he graduated

Offline obtuserecluse

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #5 on: May 27, 2021, 02:18:03 PM »
You are welcome, glad I could be of help!

If your repertoire seems to difficult you can always adjust, right? And worst case scenario if you don't do well this year you can always try again next year. In either case this year will offer a valuable experience. Are you planning on auditioning in one or several schools?

Hello again and sorry for not answering earlier. Finally got covid...
Yes, I'm planning on auditioning for multiple conservatories from multiple countries. (except for mine, haha:/)
I since reconsidered my repertoire and changed the mahor works. Wasn't really comfortable with most of the picks..
So my repertoire looks a bit like this:
Bach- same prelude and fugue, but will work on another work, such as a French Suite or Toccata and fugue in a minor.
Beethoven- Sonata Op.7 or Op.22
Chopin, Scherzo 4
Shostakovich, final Prelude and fugue in d minor.
Same etude, but with an additional one, since most conservatories require 2.
Maybe a Chopin one. Maybe Liszt's TE 7? Performed it in 12th grade.

My question would be what you and others here think is the better option between the two sonatas. I love them equally and can't discriminate between them. I also have Waldstein memorized since a while, but I heard it's too 'hot' of a pick for auditions, as almost everybody chooses it.

Offline obtuserecluse

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #6 on: May 27, 2021, 02:22:23 PM »
Hi, dogperson! Thank you for the encouragement. That's what I think, as well- never too old for something you sincerely love. My concern is- what are the chances of building a career afterwards, but the answer that reflex(e?)ly comes to mind is- it depends on my performance and efforts during and after my studies..

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #7 on: May 27, 2021, 11:03:35 PM »

My question would be what you and others here think is the better option between the two sonatas. I love them equally and can't discriminate between them. I also have Waldstein memorized since a while, but I heard it's too 'hot' of a pick for auditions, as almost everybody chooses it.

My guess would be that Op 22 is more commonly heard in auditions than Op 7. I love Op 7, but I think Op 22 might be easier to use in an audition. In Op 7 the first movement is so big and maybe a bit musically one dimensional, and the second movement is so grand I don't know how you are gonna fit all that into an audition :P But honestly my opinion is just an opinion so I'd think about what feels right to you as well.

I think it's good in an audition to 1) be able to show variety and 2) play to your strengths.

Offline obtuserecluse

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 07:02:46 AM »
Yes, Op.7 is.. thick.  ;D
Op.22 kind of reminds me of a late Beethoven sonata here and there. (maybe it's stupid to say that, but that's my honest impression  :P).
Thank you so very much for the advice.

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Audition repertoire
«Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 09:16:17 PM »
Yes, Op.7 is.. thick.  ;D
Op.22 kind of reminds me of a late Beethoven sonata here and there. (maybe it's stupid to say that, but that's my honest impression  :P).
Thank you so very much for the advice.

It does! It's a very interesting and creative (and difficult) sonata and shows, I think, Beethoven venturing into new territory during that era of his sonata writing. There are apparently similarities to the hammerklavier sonata that a lot of the motifs/ideas/relationships are built around the interval of a third.