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Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
#2215325 01/15/14 05:42 PM
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My son plans to play a Mozart piano concerto (No 23) in a competition, but the time limit is only 5 minutes. This piece is about 7 minutes long without orchestra part. Do people usually just play up to the time limit or people could cut some part of the music? For example to skip the recapitulation section and jump to cadenza right after the development?

Another question is the competition only has one piano available, that means he can't have an accompanist to play the orchestra part. But other instruments (like violin, cello) could play concertos with an accompanist. Do you think it is a disadvantage for the piano contestant? Maybe a piano solo piece is better than a concerto? Thanks!

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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2215337 01/15/14 05:54 PM
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The competition allows you to play either a concerto or a solo piece?? And it offers the concerto option but fails to provide a second piano? No, if you can't have an accompanist don't play a concerto.


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Polyphonist
Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
Polyphonist #2215352 01/15/14 06:07 PM
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This competition is open for all instruments. And other instruments besides piano usually play a concerto with an accompanist. Piano contestants usually play piano solo pieces. My son just has this concerto ready so he plans to use this concerto for the competition.

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2215353 01/15/14 06:10 PM
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I can't see why you would want to play a concerto without an accompanist.


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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2215375 01/15/14 06:56 PM
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You are supposed to pick a piece that is within the time limit. This is something you time before you dive into.

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2215410 01/15/14 08:07 PM
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If you plan to use a concerto movement that exceeds the time limit, you should find out if the competition will allow you to provide a cut down version that allows him to play the juicy parts and the cadenza, or if they will force him to play from the beginning with a stopwatch cutting him off when the time limit expires.

I have faced exactly this issue in a local competition that I currently head. We tell students who program pieces that exceed the time limit that it is their responsibility to give the judges music marked with cuts. If they do not, then they will be cut off when they hit their time limit.


Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
Polyphonist #2215415 01/15/14 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
The competition allows you to play either a concerto or a solo piece?? And it offers the concerto option but fails to provide a second piano? No, if you can't have an accompanist don't play a concerto.


For many instruments, concerto movements are perfectly sized for a competition. Ours requires a baroque/classical work and a romantic/contemporary work. Many of the non-piano contestants program a concerto movement as one of their pieces. We do not explicitly encourage or discourage concerto movements. It's just more natural for strings or winds than for piano, especially once you get out of the early classical.

We will certainly allow a pianist to program a concerto movement, but in most cases (except for Haydn or earlier) it would be silly. You would have to cut it to ribbons. In ten years of attending that event, I think I have heard only one pianist play a concerto movement. Pianists naturally gravitate to the solo literature, as they should. But other instruments often program short concerto movements, or they cut it down to appropriate size.

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2215472 01/15/14 10:20 PM
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Playing a piece that is too long and doesn't fit the available instruments sends a message that the student isn't taking the competition seriously. Even if he finds a way to somehow make it sort of work, I'd advise choosing a different piece.


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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
Candywoman #2215946 01/16/14 10:45 PM
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We don't pick a piece and prepare for the competition, we usually just pick one from pieces he is currently learning.

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
Piano*Dad #2215950 01/16/14 10:50 PM
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That's great information. I just got their answer and it's like you said, it's OK to cut down the music. They even said they will try to at least get a digital piano in the audition room.

To give judges the cut down version of the music, do you usually just cross out the measures and just simply remove the pages that won't be played? Thanks!

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216201 01/17/14 12:25 PM
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i'm curious what the digital piano is for in the audition room, or did they mean in the warm up room?




Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
Miguel Rey #2216213 01/17/14 12:39 PM
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That's the answer to my question for them. I asked them they only have 1 piano in the audition room but piano concerto needs two. They said they will try to at least get a digital as a second piano. It's just not possible to move another acoustic piano to the audition room.


Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216219 01/17/14 12:49 PM
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It seems it's not a good idea to play piano concerto in the competition without two acoustic pianos.
My son currently only has 2 solo pieces, one is Chopin Nocturne op 9-2 another one is Scarlatti sonata K27.

Technically the Mozart concerto no 23 1st mov should be more impressive in the competition (maybe grade 10, and I think he plays well), Chopin is probably grade 7 and is a slow piece (even though it's not easy to play it well). Scarlatti is probably in between.

The competition is next month, so it's too late to learn a new one. What would you choose if 1. only 1 piano is available, and 2. a digital piano is available for accompaniment? Thanks!

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216462 01/17/14 11:16 PM
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Why not choose something already learned that is solo and shorter than 5 minutes? Surely he has learned some shorter pieces in the past?

edit: sorry, misread your post. Scarlatti I think is a good choice, it's really effective when mastered and there's a lot you can do artistically with voicing etc. that will place you above someone just rattling off the 16th notes.

Last edited by hreichgott; 01/17/14 11:19 PM.

Heather W. Reichgott, piano

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Tommy (whole show)

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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216529 01/18/14 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
a digital piano is available for accompaniment
Don't settle for that. I was victim in a similar situation. It was a mixed-instrument concerto competition. All the pianists got "accompanied" by a cheap digital keyboard, while all the other instrumentalists got the 9-foot grand for their accompaniment. Guess who won?

I'd advise your son to play the Scarlatti. It's a LOVELY piece which allows the performer to showcase much emotional connection to the music and to the audience. Judges dig that.


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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216589 01/18/14 09:36 AM
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I don't get the sense that this is actually a concerto competition. It's just an all-instrument audition.

The event is not obligated to provide a second piano for one piano student who chooses to play a concerto movement. The event I am organizing has said explicitly in the rules that one piano is provided, period. That's a strong signal that pianists should either not play works from the concerto repertoire, or if they really want to pick a concerto movement they should choose one that works well unaccompanied and well trimmed.

Perhaps this just goes in the "life's not always fair" category.

An actual concerto competition ought to provide two acoustic pianos.


Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2216745 01/18/14 03:37 PM
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My kid got to a competition last year and ALL there was a single electric piano in the audition room. He showed up with Mozart Sonata K 330. Needless to say, no pianists won in that room! The time limit for that competition was 3 minutes. I seriously think we won't bother with that one this year!

I would totally go with the Scarlatti. My kid just played Mozart 23 Allegro last week in recital and in competition. I have a hard time imagining that going super well with a digital and an acoustic. And I have a hard time imagining the "best" 5 minutes? I'd totally go with a solo piece that would showcase your son on his own.


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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
AZNpiano #2220155 01/24/14 03:36 PM
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But Scarlatti is a little bit of short, only about 2 min.

Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
C.Y. #2220161 01/24/14 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
But Scarlatti is a little bit of short, only about 2 min.

Why not take the repeats? More opportunities to showcase dynamic contrast and ornamentation.


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Re: Q about a piece is too long for competition audition time
kck #2220166 01/24/14 03:46 PM
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Without accompaniment, it's about 7 minutes long. Cut down recapitulation section, it will be very close to 5 minutes.

I think this piece is very similar to the Sonata. Maybe I am used to listen to it, I feel it sounds pretty good without accompaniment too.

I think I will just let my son to decide which piece he likes to play, thanks for the suggestion.

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