I have been visiting the woodwind.com site and I have seen your email for questions. I have a question and I hope that you could help me.
I am planning to audition at the Curtis Institute next year and one of the requirements is a prepared piece of the applicant’s choice. I have prepared the Mozart Concerto already and the 2 rose etudes but I can’t decide what piece should I play. Should I play a fast piece or a slow one. Or better yet do you know a piece that balances technique sound and musicality. Or a piece that is something impressively beautiful and slow.
My playing is more focused on sound and musicality but I also have technique.
I hope you could help me sir! Thank you very much
Hi, and thank you for your question.
The piece that requires a balance of technic and very beautiful sound and legato is of course, The Debussy Rhapsodie, a piece which was originally composed by Debussy for a Concours Piece at the Paris Conservatoire. It is the perfect piece and remains always a challange for any clarinetist, for all of the reasons you mention.
The opening is very much adagiodemanding a perfect legato through the break of the instrument and tonally very demanding, followed by a measured transition to some of the more difficult writing for the clarinet, specializing in rapid articulation and passages especially featuring the more difficult registers of the instrument.
In another article in the repertoire section you will find my performance analyses of the work.
Of course the Mozart is the most transparent work in the repertoire, however the Debussy is just as challenging and most of your competition will be playing these same works. Make certain that you are familiar with the absolutely correct interpretation, and breathing as well. This is what the jury will be looking for. Make certain that your teacher works with you and is very familiar with the works and that you have a fine and experienced pianist.