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Topic: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School  (Read 1452 times)

Offline bwl_13

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Hey everyone,

I've decided to change my pace and switch from being a film student to a music student. I am extremely excited but also quite nervous. I live in Canada and I'm auditioning to a decent school in Ontario which is local and a few others as well. This repertoire would allow me to audition to all of the schools. I'm considering auditioning with the following repertoire:

Group 1 [A work from the Baroque era, in one of the following genres: Prelude and Fugue. Toccata, 3-part Invention (Sinfonia)]: Bach WTC I Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (I know this is generally considered the easiest one and I could learn another but it would be far more stressful

Group 2 [The first movement of a sonata composed between 1750 and 1830 (e.g. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert). Fantasias are not eligible]: Beethoven Pathetique I

Group 3 [A work written between 1825 and 1925 (Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Debussy, or one of their contemporaries)]: Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2

Group 4 [Your own composition, improvisation, or a work written since 1900 (Ravel, Poulenc, Bartók, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, etc.)]: I would not feel comfortable performing any of my own compositions and don't feel comfortable enough with improvisation to give that a go. I am currently considering a few pieces but none of them really jump out at me. Shostakovich Op. 5 "Three Fantastic Dances" seems kinda cool and I like what's going on in "Synergy" by Mary Gardiner. If it weren't for Rachmaninov being mentioned in the third group I would pick one of his compositions written past 1900 but I think they're looking for something that sounds distinctly modern. I would really appreciate some suggestions for this category. I am only really feel comfortable playing something at an RCM Grade 10 equivalent for this category since I'm not extremely familiar with more contemporary compositions.

How does this repertoire seem? My teacher who has taught students that have gotten into the school I want to go to said I can definitely get in off it and once I grow my abilities I can audition for a master's at a more prestigious university. It fits all their requirements and is at their minimum level of RCM Grade 9, but after looking at posts from other people auditioning to schools in the States I'm a little freaked out. I'm not going to Julliard or anything by any stretch but even still the lists people are posting online are quite a bit more challenging than anything I'm auditioning with. I'm excited to hopefully go to music school and get out of my current program which is sort of killing my drive for any creativity (ironically), but now I'm worried I might not get in. Any suggestions for this Group 4 piece or any words of wisdom?
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5
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Offline visitor

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #1 on: December 04, 2021, 02:26:34 PM
Few ideas but I'll start throwing a few things out
Th see first ones scores can .be scarce
But you may be able source w library help
Marc Lavry ,Israel, Hora , it's short but flashy and fun ,

Bidzida Kvernadze - Georgia ,Poem , distinct from the taktakishvilli but sounds somewhat same in flavor more Rachmaninoff like than Scriabin in it's build up and chromaticism
Love this thing


Offline visitor

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #2 on: December 04, 2021, 02:42:09 PM
William Grant still. / Lots to choose from
Three visions especially effective as is deserted plantation any of the movements or sub pieces ie

Offline nabs00

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #3 on: December 05, 2021, 03:23:45 AM
Ginastera 3 Danzas Argentinas
Janáček in the Mists
Kapustin Variations Op. 41

I think any of these are approachable and feasible for an undergrad audition, and they have wide expressive range.


Offline fftransform

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #4 on: December 05, 2021, 05:07:09 AM
It's too easy.  Schubert is a totally inappropriate choice there, you need to play something Romantic and with some degree of virtuosity.

For a modern piece don't play some obscure, neo-Romantic junk.  Play a serious piece.  That's my #1 advice.  Here are some that don't take a million years to learn:









You could also play a selection of Debussy Preludes if they're modernistic ones (esp. stick to Book II for that).  Like, maybe Brouillards + Feuilles/Puerta/Terrasse + Lavine?

In a pinch, you could prolly do the Terrasse separately.  But any Debussy should be discussed with a good teacher, you likely don't have the ear to understand what's expected yet so you will need help.  Here is a basically perfect one:



Also, are you for real?  You can play an improvisation for multiple schools?  Sounds fishy.

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #5 on: December 05, 2021, 06:34:39 AM
It's too easy.  Schubert is a totally inappropriate choice there, you need to play something Romantic and with some degree of virtuosity.
The schools I'm applying to require a minimum of a Grade 9 RCM for a competitive audition, so I think that means that if I play something from there or high well then I should be able to at least attempt to get in. The Impromptu is a Grade 10 but it also isn't really stylistically "romantic", more of an early romantic composition. My teacher and I corresponded and considered I'd play something from Rachmaninoff instead since it fits the bill. I don't consider Rachmaninoff romantic either but since he still fits the requirements of the category it should work. Do you have any specific suggestions for works to consider (Rach or otherwise)? I am familiar with some Romantic repertoire, but most of the virtuosic stuff is out of reach for me (Ballades, the more difficult Chopin Etudes, most flashy Liszt showpieces etc.) and the stuff I normally think of is far more lyrical and not virtuosic per say.
Quote
Also, are you for real?  You can play an improvisation for multiple schools?  Sounds fishy.
My bad, this is just for the school I most hope to get into. I just copy pasted from there but the general categories are the same for all the schools, just not that one part.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #6 on: December 05, 2021, 06:35:19 AM
Thanks everyone for your responses! I'll be looking through them and figure out what makes the most sense for me
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline dogperson

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 10:43:58 AM
If you want Rach, look at Op 3 no 1, Elegie
Graded as RCM 9

If it were me, however, I would strongly consider William Grant Stills ‘Three Visions’ recommended by Visitor.  Not only is it a lovely composition, but your audition panel will smile to hear something they haven’t heard 10,000 times.

Offline quantum

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #8 on: December 05, 2021, 04:54:14 PM
The program in the OP contains a lot of commonly played repertoire.  IMO for an audition you want to stand out, you want to remain memorable as a candidate the school will offer admission to.  I'd advise changing some of the rep to less frequently played pieces. It is okay to have some frequently played repertoire, but throw some less popular selections into the program.

For Group 4, I'd suggest a piece by a Canadian composer.  The jury would appreciate an interest in Canadian content. 










How does this repertoire seem? My teacher who has taught students that have gotten into the school I want to go to said I can definitely get in off it and once I grow my abilities I can audition for a master's at a more prestigious university.

Don't get hung up on the name of a prestigious school.  Unless the thing you are after is what is printed on the diploma, there are more important aspects to consider in a school.  Finding a good mentors at the school whom you are comfortable working with will be of much greater benefit to you.

Also big school does not mean better school. 


Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline fftransform

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #9 on: December 05, 2021, 10:35:17 PM
Yeah, the type of music posted by Quantum is exactly what not to play.  Don't play some crap nobody has heard of.  Some of that sounded like when a youtube video game pianist tries to 'get creative with it.'

Ask your teacher, that's what they'll tell you.  You want to stand out because of your playing, not your repertoire.  I suggest the Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune as your easiest choice, followed by the Schoenberg 6 Little Pieces.

Offline visitor

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #10 on: December 06, 2021, 12:09:51 AM
Took me. A bit to find my old reply here
https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=68091.msg712017#msg712017

But this is a dope as hell piece by a superb and celebrated contemporary composer
Missy Mazzoli is definitely one to watch /listen to
Her Bolts of Loving Thunder for solo piano is amazing


Alt Audio here  (Emanuel Ax piano )
"Bolts of Loving Thunder — Missy Mazzoli" https://missymazzoli.com/works/bolts-of-loving-thunder/

Program Note
Composer Note
Bolts of Loving Thunder was composed in 2013 for pianist Emanuel Ax. When Manny asked me to write a piece that would appear on a program of works by Brahms, I immediately thought back to my experiences as a young pianist. I have clear memories of crashing sloppily but enthusiastically through the Rhapsodies and Intermezzi, and knew I wanted to create a work based on this romantic, stormy idea of Brahms, complete with hand crossing and dense layers of chords. I also felt that there needed to be a touch of the exuberant, floating melodies typical of young, “pre-beard” Brahms. Brahms’ “F-A-F” motive (shorthand for “frei aber froh” or “free but happy”) gradually breaks through the surface of this work, frenetically bubbling out in the final section. The title comes from a line in John Ashbery’s poem Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape.

Bolts of Loving Thunder was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, music director; Symphony Center Presents, Chicago; Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley; and Carnegie Hall.

— Missy Mazzoli

Offline quantum

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #11 on: December 06, 2021, 02:08:59 AM
Yeah, the type of music posted by Quantum is exactly what not to play.  Don't play some crap nobody has heard of.  Some of that sounded like when a youtube video game pianist tries to 'get creative with it.'

Ask your teacher, that's what they'll tell you.  You want to stand out because of your playing, not your repertoire.  I suggest the Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune as your easiest choice, followed by the Schoenberg 6 Little Pieces.

Excuse me but that music is NOT crap nobody has heard of! 

If the OP does obtain an offer of admission from one of the schools in the vicinity, there is also a likelihood that a Canadian composition such as the examples I listed above, is a course repertoire requirement when studying at one of these schools. 

I suggest you rephrase your statement. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline visitor

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Re: Undergrad Audition Repertoire at a Decent Canadian School
Reply #12 on: December 06, 2021, 01:01:31 PM
Excuse me but that music is NOT crap nobody has heard of! 

If the OP does obtain an offer of admission from one of the schools in the vicinity, there is also a likelihood that a Canadian composition such as the examples I listed above, is a course repertoire requirement when studying at one of these schools. 

I suggest you rephrase your statement.
also the premise of
No , no one heard of it

Fails to consider op statement, they are already playing plenty of standard well known pieces
In That context , a less known or unknown to the panel piece can be a refreshing way to get attention from reviewers that may have mentally checked out
We were not saying make the whole program esoteric no one ever heard of pieces for Every selection
I'd also mention David Mcintyre Bobcats and Butterflies for the Canadian nod


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