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Topic: Etude for college audition  (Read 2029 times)

Offline rtheunissen

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Etude for college audition
on: April 03, 2022, 05:00:29 PM
Which of the following etudes would be a good pick as a first etude in my repertoire (and one I can play for my audition)? If you want to, you may also rank them in what order of difficulty (roughly, I know that that's a bit of an arbitrary thing to do but at least it gives me somewhat of an idea.

Chopin:
Op. 10 No. 3
Op. 10 No. 6
Op. 10 No. 7
Op. 10 No. 9
Op. 25 No. 7
Op. 25 No. 10
Trois Nouvelles Études No. 1

Liszt:
Transcendental etude No. 3 "Paysage"
Transcendental etude No. 11 "Harmonies du Soir"

Moszkowski:
Op. 72 No. 2

Rachmaninoff:
Op. 33 in G minor (I believe) No. 8
Op. 39 in A minor No. 2
Op. 39 in C minor No. 7

Scriabin:
Op. 2 No. 1
Op. 8 No. 11

Offline lelle

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #1 on: April 03, 2022, 07:44:32 PM
Ranking is hard and a bit arbitrary as you say. In terms of pure mechanical challenge I'd rate the ones I'm familiar with something like this, from easiest to hardest:

Scirabin Op. 2 No. 1
Chopin Op 10. no 6
Chopin Op. 25 No. 7
Scriabin Op. 8 no. 11
Chopin Trois Nouvelles Études No. 1
Chopin Op. 10 No. 3
Chopin Op. 10 No. 9
Chopin Op. 25 No. 10
Chopin Op. 10 No. 7

But really, it's quite individual what is challenging and what is easy for someone.

Offline rtheunissen

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #2 on: April 03, 2022, 08:36:36 PM
Very well said, my teacher and I have talked about it before and my biggest struggles are (luckily?) more in the technical side since I haven't been playing for very long, but musically speaking I have less struggles so in that case I'm glad that you ranked them in pure mechanical difficulty. You have any other suggestions? Or anyone who has a different opinion?

Offline thorn

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #3 on: April 03, 2022, 10:25:29 PM
The etudes you learn for technical development and the one you pick for audition won't be the same. For technical development you need to discuss with your teacher which etudes will help you develop those aspects of technique where you are struggling. For an audition you want an etude that shows off your technical strengths (i.e. one you can virtually sight read now and then memorise/polish in the time you have before the audition).

Of the pieces you listed I'd personally go with one of the Rachmaninoff for the audition. Chopin op.10 and 25, Liszt Transcendentals, and Scriabin op.2/1 and 8/11 are played to death (by all means consider other Scriabin etudes though). Chopin Nouvelles Etudes are generally seen as a cop-out from playing the more substantial op.10 and 25 ones. No idea what an audition panel would think of Moszkowski, maybe others will be able to answer?

Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #4 on: April 04, 2022, 01:00:02 AM
I agree with thorn, the etudes you play to develop technique should be different from the ones you play in an audition. The point of an audition etude is to show artistic maturity in a virtuosic context, while many of the ones you listed are probably better for technique development, but are difficult to play convincingly in such a high-pressure setting as a college audition (ie, Chopin Op. 10 No. 7).

For your audition, I would recommend the Chopin Op. 10 No. 9, Liszt Harmonies du Soir, or the any of the Rachmaninoff Etudes, though the C minor is much more difficult than one would think (I learned in last spring, but never performed it--I had a lot of trouble getting it memorized).

Also, I don't think the Scriabin Op. 2 No. 1 really counts as a virtuosic etude, unfortunately--it is beautiful, and great to practice a singing melody, but it is a caliber below the others on the list in my opinion. Pick the piece that works with your strengths! I was very successful with the Chopin Op. 10 No. 9 and 12, for instance, but I no matter how much I practice Op. 10 No. 4, there are some sections I can never play comfortably and securely in a concert setting.

What techniques/textures do you enjoy the most in a concert piece? For instance, I find that I do very well with light, filaments of sound in the upper register of the piano, or pieces with a single, long singing melody; but I really struggle with fast double notes or pieces with big stretches (I have little hands UwU), both of which Op. 10 No. 4 has in great bounty.
1st-year Master's Program:
- Ravel Piano Concerto
- Liszt Ricordanza
- Liszt 3 Liebestraums
- Liszt 3 Sonnets

- Rhapsody in Blue
- Dante Sonata
- Schubert Sonata D.780
- Mozart Piano Quartet in Gm

Offline rtheunissen

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #5 on: April 04, 2022, 02:10:01 PM
Thanks for all the replies, I'm still getting acquainted with Scriabin but liked the ones I mentioned (and believe them not to be as hard as for example op. 8 no. 12).
Nightwind, you recommended the Rachmaninoff etudes, Chopin op. 10 no 9 or Harmonies du Soir. Do you guys think Harmonies du Soir is doable with one more year of preperation and if not which of the ones Nightwind recommended do you think is possible? (In 6 months with lessons I progressed from minuet in G major and minor (and Chopin prelude 4) to Bach invention no. 8, Chopin nocturne op. 55 no. 1, Debussy La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin and next I'm going to learn Beethoven Sonata no. 5, hopefully this gives somewhat of a good representation of my ability and growth...)

Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #6 on: April 04, 2022, 04:31:08 PM
Hm. With one year of lessons, I would highly suggest you stick to the Chopin Op. 10 No. 6 or 9 then, or one of the Trois Novelles Etudes. These are much more doable than either the Liszt or Rachmaninoff Etudes, which can be extremely treacherous (the Liszt Harmonies du Soir, for example, requires great flexibility to play well). To be real with you, university music faculty care less about the difficulty of the piece than your ability to play it well. Unless you're really trying to reach an elite level (ie, Julliard, Oberlin, San Francisco Conservatory, etc.), which is extremely hard to do successfully, I highly recommend you go with an easier Etude (even if it's overplayed) and do it as cleanly and professionally as possible. When pieces (especially etudes) are played frequently, professors tend to treat them more as a rite of passage, and will be looking for creative artistic ideas within the piece, rather than displays of pure virtuosity. Every piece on this list is considered in that way, so do yourself a favor and play something a little easier that you can easily grasp.

It's funny you mention Op. 8 No. 12, because I was going to mention it (it's in the same league as Harmonies du Soir, I think, perhaps even easier). However, since you haven't yet stepped into the world of virtuosity, I think you should set your sights lower (for now). There will be plenty of time to play virtuosic stuff later, but you want to give the pieces justice when you do.
1st-year Master's Program:
- Ravel Piano Concerto
- Liszt Ricordanza
- Liszt 3 Liebestraums
- Liszt 3 Sonnets

- Rhapsody in Blue
- Dante Sonata
- Schubert Sonata D.780
- Mozart Piano Quartet in Gm

Offline rtheunissen

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #7 on: April 04, 2022, 05:27:29 PM
Very well said, really the only reason Harmonies du Soir is even on the list is because it's my all-time favorite piece. To be fair I also didn't really expect anyone to tell me Chopin or Liszt etudes would be doable at such an early stage of my (hopefully) career, despite the fact that the progress I made in just a couple of months is not bad (if I can believe my teacher). I also don't really want to go to Juilliard or something, just the conservatory that's closest to me. In that case my audition repertoire would be the following:

Baroque: Bach - Invention No. 8
Classical: Beethoven - Sonata No. 5
Romantic: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1
Post-Romantic: Debussy - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin
Concert Etude: Chopin - Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (if my teacher allows it  :))
Technical Etude: Czerny - any etude from his op. 365 (I believe)

Would you guys say that this is a good list to perform? Or would any of you switch a piece from a certain era with one of the following pieces. (If they're not too difficult or too overplayed for my audition). This is just a list of pieces that I want to learn and I believe/hope not to be too difficult.

Bach:
Invention No. 13, 14
Sinfonia No. 5
WTC Book I, Prelude & Fugue in C Major, C Minor, C sharp Minor, E flat Minor

Scarlatti:
Sonata K. 380


Haydn:
Sonata Hob: XVI:8, Hob: XVI:G1, Hob: XVI:24, Hob: XVI:37

Mozart:
Fantasia in D Minor
Sonata K. 545, "Sonata Facile"

Beethoven:
Sonata No. 1, 3, 9, 10, 19, 20, 25   


Schubert:
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3
Sonata D. 894, “Fantasie”, D. 960

Glinka:
The Lark (arr. Balakirev)

Schumann:
Kinderszenen No. 1, “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen“, No. 7, “Träumerei”
Widmung (arr. Liszt)

Chopin:
Prelude No. 2, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21
Waltz Op. 64 No. 2, Op. 69 No. 2
Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1, 2, Op. 27 No. 2, Op. 48 No. 1, Op. 72 No. 1, Op. Posth in C-Sharp Minor
Mazurka Op. 6 No. 1, Op. 33 No. 4, Op. 68 No. 2
Ballade No. 3

Liszt:
Consolation No. 3
Liebestraum No. 3
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3

Alkan:
Prélude Op. 31 No. 8

Brahms:
Intermezzo Op. 76 No. 7
Ballade Op. 10 No. 1

Tchaikovsky:
The Seasons June, "Barcarolle"

Grieg:
Lyric Pieces Op. 54 No. 4, "Notturno"
Piano Sonata Op. 7


Rachmaninoff:
Prélude Op. 32 No. 10, No. 12
Morceaux de Fantasie Op. 3 No. 2, Prelude

Debussy:
Rêverie
Prélude No. 10, "La Cathédrale Engloutie"
Children's Corner No. 4, "The Snow is Dancing"
Suite Bergamasque (- III “Clair de Lune”)
Image No. 1, “Reflets dans l’Eau”

Sibelius:
Impromptu Op. 5 No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“The Trees” Op. 75 No. 5, “The Spruce”
13 pieces Op. 76 No. 3, “Carillon”

Satie:
Gnossienne No. 5

Ravel:
Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
Gaspard de la nuit - III “Le Gibet”
Jeux d’eau

Shostakovich:
Prélude & Fugue op.87 No. 4 in E minor



Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #8 on: April 04, 2022, 06:12:55 PM
Very well said, really the only reason Harmonies du Soir is even on the list is because it's my all-time favorite piece. To be fair I also didn't really expect anyone to tell me Chopin or Liszt etudes would be doable at such an early stage of my (hopefully) career, despite the fact that the progress I made in just a couple of months is not bad (if I can believe my teacher). I also don't really want to go to Juilliard or something, just the conservatory that's closest to me. In that case my audition repertoire would be the following:

Baroque: Bach - Invention No. 8
Classical: Beethoven - Sonata No. 5
Romantic: Chopin - Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1
Post-Romantic: Debussy - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin
Concert Etude: Chopin - Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (if my teacher allows it  :))
Technical Etude: Czerny - any etude from his op. 365 (I believe)

Would you guys say that this is a good list to perform? Or would any of you switch a piece from a certain era with one of the following pieces. (If they're not too difficult or too overplayed for my audition). This is just a list of pieces that I want to learn and I believe/hope not to be too difficult.

Bach:
Invention No. 13, 14
Sinfonia No. 5
WTC Book I, Prelude & Fugue in C Major, C Minor, C sharp Minor, E flat Minor

Scarlatti:
Sonata K. 380


Haydn:
Sonata Hob: XVI:8, Hob: XVI:G1, Hob: XVI:24, Hob: XVI:37

Mozart:
Fantasia in D Minor
Sonata K. 545, "Sonata Facile"

Beethoven:
Sonata No. 1, 3, 9, 10, 19, 20, 25   


Schubert:
Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3
Sonata D. 894, “Fantasie”, D. 960

Glinka:
The Lark (arr. Balakirev)

Schumann:
Kinderszenen No. 1, “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen“, No. 7, “Träumerei”
Widmung (arr. Liszt)

Chopin:
Prelude No. 2, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21
Waltz Op. 64 No. 2, Op. 69 No. 2
Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1, 2, Op. 27 No. 2, Op. 48 No. 1, Op. 72 No. 1, Op. Posth in C-Sharp Minor
Mazurka Op. 6 No. 1, Op. 33 No. 4, Op. 68 No. 2
Ballade No. 3

Liszt:
Consolation No. 3
Liebestraum No. 3
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3

Alkan:
Prélude Op. 31 No. 8

Brahms:
Intermezzo Op. 76 No. 7
Ballade Op. 10 No. 1

Tchaikovsky:
The Seasons June, "Barcarolle"

Grieg:
Lyric Pieces Op. 54 No. 4, "Notturno"
Piano Sonata Op. 7


Rachmaninoff:
Prélude Op. 32 No. 10, No. 12
Morceaux de Fantasie Op. 3 No. 2, Prelude

Debussy:
Rêverie
Prélude No. 10, "La Cathédrale Engloutie"
Children's Corner No. 4, "The Snow is Dancing"
Suite Bergamasque (- III “Clair de Lune”)
Image No. 1, “Reflets dans l’Eau”

Sibelius:
Impromptu Op. 5 No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“The Trees” Op. 75 No. 5, “The Spruce”
13 pieces Op. 76 No. 3, “Carillon”

Satie:
Gnossienne No. 5

Ravel:
Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
Gaspard de la nuit - III “Le Gibet”
Jeux d’eau

Shostakovich:
Prélude & Fugue op.87 No. 4 in E minor

Well, that is a great list. My own is at least a mile long  ;D it's good that you're familiar with the repertoire.

There are many Chopin Etudes that are far too difficult, and most of the Liszt Etudes are as well. However, one can ease into them if one is careful and well-instructed. I recommend you save the Harmonies du Soir for a big concert (perhaps a Junior or Senior Recital) so you can share your ideas with the biggest audience you can. Most of what you play now will consist of 'study pieces' that don't end up in your concert repertoire, unless you come back to them later and 'refresh' them. Also, I recommend you play as much Bach as possible during your time in conservatory--one who plays Bach well will see many doors open.
1st-year Master's Program:
- Ravel Piano Concerto
- Liszt Ricordanza
- Liszt 3 Liebestraums
- Liszt 3 Sonnets

- Rhapsody in Blue
- Dante Sonata
- Schubert Sonata D.780
- Mozart Piano Quartet in Gm

Offline jeffkonkol

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Re: Etude for college audition
Reply #9 on: April 05, 2022, 02:30:18 PM
Scriabin 8-12 is, I think, easier than it sounds, but that all depends on your skill with octaves.

Since you mention that you feel musicality is your strong suit, Chopin 25-7 might be a good choice. The technical challenges aren't unsurmountable. You have a long left-hand chromatic scale to contend with, and of course the incredible left-hand explosion in the first half of the piece. Beyond that, though, I think the most serious challenges are expression and musicality.
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