Haydn or Hummel?

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by No BS, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. No BS

    No BS New Friend

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    Nov 2, 2003
    When you guys get an audition list and it says "Solo of your Choice" which do you pick...Haydn or Hummel? I seem to alternate between the two...but I've advanced at more auditions with Haydn so that seems to be the flavor of the month.
     
  2. Happy Canuck

    Happy Canuck Piano User

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Try the Artunian?!

    Jens Lindemann said that using the Artunian will set you off from the rest of the hordes. He used it very successfully, but anything Jens plays is great!
     
  3. romey1

    romey1 Banned

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    Oct 25, 2003
    out
     
  4. Nonsense Eliminator

    Nonsense Eliminator New Friend

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Crazy idea -- play whichever one you play best!

    I think that most of the time, when it comes to the solo, what the committee is looking for is an opportunity to see what you can do as a musician, given something more substantial than a 30 second excerpt. What you want to do is play the piece that you feel most confident about your interpretation, and your ability to play it in a way that says, "This is how this goes. Deal with it."
     
  5. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Consider the Tomasi. Plenty to deal with musically, and not something the committee will have heard 85 times. This will set you appart, especially if you sound a bit like Andre or Tom Stevens!!
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Just remember what ever you decide to play.... You have to play a whole bunch of excerpts after. For a while Honegger Intrada seemed to be a popular piece asked on some auditions. That is a tough one.

    Recently I saw an audition asking for Hydan/Hummel (I think one of the two) or the Arutunian!

    Go Figure?

    TM

     
  7. Nonsense Eliminator

    Nonsense Eliminator New Friend

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    Nov 2, 2003
    I think that there is something to be said for ignoring what you think other people are doing.

    Yes, the committee will have heard 85 Haydns. However, 75-80 of those will have suffered from some combination of bad intonation, poor rhythm, inconsistent tone, uninspired musicianship, or good old missed notes -- and sometimes several of the above. If you are among those who have the skills to win the audition, you will stand out whether you play Haydn, Tomasi, or Come to Jesus in whole notes. If you are not, that will likewise be apparent regardless of what repertoire you choose. Remember that the committee are not waiting until the end to cast votes. They are taking notes as they go, and generally deciding who they'd like to advance as they play. They are not waiting until the end and trying to remember who stood out.

    Some other points to ponder...
    • The committee will include twigsuckers and rosinheads. Playing something they don't recognize may only serve to confuse them, and they will likely expect the same refinement, accuracy and impression of ease regardless of how difficult a piece you choose.
    • Failing to play standard repertoire may give the impression that you have something to hide.
    • Preparing an audition already involves a lot of practice. Adding something flashy to your repertoire may not be the wisest use of your time.
    • If the committee is looking to hear musicianship, playing something notey and/or of middling musical merit is not to your advantage.
    • Most audition lists will give the committee lots of opportunity to hear you play high, loud, fast music from 1850 on. The committee might prefer to hear something else in the concerto.
    • If the only way you can get the committee's attention is by playing something unusual, you're not going to win anyway.
     
  8. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    There is something to be said for keeping their attention. Twigsuckers and rosineaters will recognize French style, the woodwind players especially. How many Haydn/Hummel's can you really LISTEN to. If you've ever done much committee audition work you know that after a while you can't be sure how intently you are listening.

    Playing it too safe can send a message as well. Playing some flash, doing it as musically as possible, but showing off some can set you appart.

    We have a small repertoir, but only Haydn/Hummel/Arutunian?

    Neruda?

    The Tomasi is such fun to play, that could come across.
     
  9. Nonsense Eliminator

    Nonsense Eliminator New Friend

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Dave --

    At the risk of repeating myself, I think that what is going to be successful in an audition is playing in tune, in time, with a good sound, accurately, and with clear and convincing musical intent. If you do those things, you will get the committee's attention, if it can be gotten. If the only way to impress them is with some flashy piece, well, perhaps that's not an orchestra you really want to be part of. If your best piece is the Tomasi, then perhaps it would be a good choice. Otherwise, deliberately looking for something odd to make a splash is not going to help. My personal feeling is that it would be way more impressive to be the guy who really nailed the snot out of the Haydn concerto than the guy who played some French piece with double-tonguing in it.

    What I'm saying is that if the piece that best displays your playing is a little out-of-the-ordinary, that's fine. But playing something non-standard just for the sake of not playing Haydn or Hummel is another story entirely.

    As for the Neruda, I can think of no good reason to walk into an audition and play a technically unimpressive horn concerto that is the only known work of a forgotten third-rate composer.
     
  10. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Richard-

    Yes, I see your point. I'm only lamenting over our choices. Auditions for strings are somewhat more interesting. If you get past all that scraping.

    What other possibilities are there?

    Thanks for the discussion!
     

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