Orchestra Audition

  • Participant
    Harp One on #148454

    In your opinion……
    What is the most important thing in the harp audition? (Symphony orchestra or Opera orchestra.)

    Also I have several questions.
    (1) Dynamic
    For example, I think Wagner`s piano and Puccini`s piano has different concept.
    (Puccini.. I was just playing for his music, that is why he is in the example. no special reason.)
    What is “Piano sound” in harp audition? Should every piece have different “Piano sound”???
    (2) Harmonics in a fast and “ppp” passage.
    Is it necessary?
    What if I play the passage with the normal sound but one octave higher?
    (3) Rest in between measures
    What is the maximum mearsures that you would count?
    I would say.. maybe 4??? (super slow piece, maybe 2 measures.)

    I have so many questions in my head.
    I need somebody to help me!!!
    Any good blog for some tip???

    carl-swanson on #148455

    I would say that the most important thing in an orchestra audition is cleanness of the playing and accuracy of the rhythm. After that, it’s playing the required excerpts as if you’ve played them with orchestra a million times. They have to sound like you know what’s going on in the piece. After all, they’re called “parts.” If you don’t have a lot of orchestra experience, study the score and listen to a recording so that you understand how the harp part fits into the texture of the orchestra. The audition committee knows these pieces, and you have to convince them that you know them too. If you play the part correctly, they will hear in their heads the rest of the orchestra as you play. That will win you the audition.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #148456

    (1) Dynamic
    You’re right that there are different styles, and the dynamics depend on the context. As Carl says, if you listen to the recordings, this will help you decide how loud or soft to play the “piano” sections. If there is thick orchestration, you must play the “p” more loudly, but if it is a solo, then you can show what a beautiful, focused piano dynamic can sound like.
    (2) Harmonics in a fast and “ppp” passage.
    It depends on the piece. For example, in Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome”, there is a section where the harmonics can be played as normal notes up the octave. This piece is not usually required in auditions. But in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture”, you have to play the harmonics. (In this piece, I alternate left and right hand. I play the left hand harmonics with the same technique as the right hand when the harmonics get too high on the harp.)
    (3) Rest in between measures
    What is the maximum measures that you would count?
    As you guessed, it depends on the speed. Don’t make the committee wait too long. Just make sure that you count the bar or bars in the same tempo as the rest of the passage.

    Any good blog for some tip?
    Google “auditions” and you will find many articles and tips on the Internet. For example, I have one on preparing for auditions. http://www.elizabethvolpebligh.com/articles.shtml#audition

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #148457

    In Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, if you are playing the very beginning of the movement, count all the bars in between the segments. They go by very quickly, and the committee is hearing the rest of it in their heads, so they will be listening to ascertain that you can count bars correctly.

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