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34 Works by Beethoven Added to Piano Street
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Topic: Masters Audition Rep  (Read 471 times)

Offline indianpianist99

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Masters Audition Rep
on: December 26, 2022, 02:24:55 PM
Hello! Before I begin, I know there are like 3873875 posts on this topic and I've spent many hours going through most of them haha

I'm still a little unsure about the level of my chosen rep for a master's level audition at a conservatory. I haven't learnt any of these yet and I won't be auditioning until 2024, so the plan is to learn the material in 2023 so that I'm very comfortable with it by the time the audition season rolls around

But nevertheless, here's what I have so far:
Bach Work: Toccata in C Minor BWV 911
Bach P&F (some schools specify a P&F plus I alr have this prepped): Prelude & Fugue in D Major WTC 2 BWV 874
Etude (some schools specify Chopin): Etude Op 10 No 8
20th Century / Free Choice Additional Work: Kapustin Variations Op. 41

I'm a little unsure about a couple of my choices. I absolutely love these two pieces and in my mind that makes a strong argument for choosing these. But I'm not sure if these are "good enough" from a pov of being technically / musically challenging enough
Classical Sonata: Beethoven Sonata No. 15 Op. 28 "Pastoral"
Major Romantic Work: Brahms Op. 118 (I was contemplating going with the Op. 119, but based on my analysis the Op. 118 creates a relatively more coherent set of pieces)

I was reading some threads that said Brahms Op. 118 or 119 aren't technically challenging enough but I'm not sure if that should matter since the Toccata, Chopin Etude & the Kapustin are quite technically advanced.

Maybe I should choose a "tougher" Beethoven Sonata? Would you recommend optimizing for the level of technicality or how much I connect / love the piece being played?

Also, my teacher says the Beethoven & Brahms are both great but I wanted some other opinions. There aren't many kids from India who go to conservatory so I'm not sure if my teacher is giving me the most informed advice. She's an excellent pianist & professor, but not sure she knows about all the specific "unspoken rules" when it comes to conservatory auditions (eg: taking consultation lessons w desired profs, not choosing the v common waldstein or chopin ballades etc. and things like that)

Thank you!!

Offline lelle

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Re: Masters Audition Rep
Reply #1 on: December 29, 2022, 10:27:52 PM

Maybe I should choose a "tougher" Beethoven Sonata? Would you recommend optimizing for the level of technicality or how much I connect / love the piece being played?


I cannot answer this categorically because I assume it depends on the school you are auditioning for. But I do know some people who have sat on audition juries and shared their experiences.

Juries hear a LOT of students play during the audition days. Many of them are highly technically accomplished. Thing is, when you hear rendition 56 of Chopin's first ballade, 54 of which were played with technical accomplishment, you as a jury member don't really care anymore. You want to hear someone do something interesting or not at all. Playing most of the standard repertoire with technical accomplishment is not that impressive because most students can do it.

You need to play well of course, but it's more important if you have something to say, are doing something interesting and musical with the material.

If you already have some pieces that show that you have your mechanics down, I would not optimize purely for level of technique, but rather for pieces that fit your temperemant, you connect with and have something to say with. But I guess it doesn't hurt if you choose the pieces from that category that can show off some technical skills.

But again, I guess it depends on the school so don't listen to me :D I would perhaps consult some teacher or student in the school you are interested in to see what they are looking for.

Offline indianpianist99

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Re: Masters Audition Rep
Reply #2 on: January 05, 2023, 08:17:47 AM
I cannot answer this categorically because I assume it depends on the school you are auditioning for. But I do know some people who have sat on audition juries and shared their experiences.

Juries hear a LOT of students play during the audition days. Many of them are highly technically accomplished. Thing is, when you hear rendition 56 of Chopin's first ballade, 54 of which were played with technical accomplishment, you as a jury member don't really care anymore. You want to hear someone do something interesting or not at all. Playing most of the standard repertoire with technical accomplishment is not that impressive because most students can do it.

You need to play well of course, but it's more important if you have something to say, are doing something interesting and musical with the material.

If you already have some pieces that show that you have your mechanics down, I would not optimize purely for level of technique, but rather for pieces that fit your temperemant, you connect with and have something to say with. But I guess it doesn't hurt if you choose the pieces from that category that can show off some technical skills.

But again, I guess it depends on the school so don't listen to me :D I would perhaps consult some teacher or student in the school you are interested in to see what they are looking for.

Yes indeed, that's very good advice. I had a very productive discussion about this over on Piano World and got similar advice as well. Technicality is just one of the base requirements because the music needs to convey something.

So I'm taking my time to explore the following different options to see what I connect with the most and which works let me convey my ideas to the audience.
Romantic Work: Brahms Op. 118, Schumann Carnaval, Schumann Davidsbundlertanze, Bellini/Liszt Norma
Classical Sonata: Beethoven Pastoral Sonata, Sonata Op. 10 No. 3
Etude: Chopin Op. 10 No. 8 or Op. 25 No. 10

Hopefully after some exploration I'll be able to find ones that I connect with the most by the end of this month!
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