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Master's Degree Audition Program
#2447055 08/03/15 03:18 AM
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Hello all,

I'll be applying for Master's Degree programs this fall, and I was wondering what you all thought of my potential audition program.

Bach Prelude and Fugue no. 2 (Book 2, WTC)
Beethoven Sonata op. 31 no. 3 in E-flat major
Chopin Étude op. 25 no. 11
Liszt La Campanella
Liszt Ballade no. 2 in B minor
Ginastera Sonata no. 1

I think this program presents a variety of sound colors, techniques, and emotions, so the jury could find an example of what they want to hear. They have also all have been in my fingers for 2-3 years, minus the Beethoven, which is in progress What are your thoughts? Yes, I've discussed this with my teacher and colleagues, but I value you all's opinion too!








Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music


Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447061 08/03/15 04:39 AM
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I think it's terrific. It certainly shows way more than 'enough' for just about anything. If you love these pieces and can play them (and we know you can!) smile you'll be in great shape with auditions.

But y'know, we usually want to find something to criticize, to show how smart we are (or what jerks we are) grin ....so.....

This probably doesn't matter, because of how your program does show way more than enough, but, it feels like there's essentially a redundancy with the Chopin Etude and the two Liszts. I know that they're not really redundant, but for an audition, I think they sort of are. It's like, "we already know you can do that, why are you doing it again."

So, if the program is long on that, what's it short on?
Maybe a different kind of Romantic piece, like a Chopin Ballade or something of Schubert or Schumann, although (broadly speaking) I'd say you've got that covered with the Ginastera.
And, while we could say you have "modern" covered with the Ginastera, I'm not sure you really do. One could wonder if the program would benefit from something that's more 20th century-ish than the Ginastera (I know that he is 20th century), not necessarily instead of it but in addition to it.

Also, if you're going to play Ginastera, make sure you know the right way to pronounce him. ha
I'm not even sure which way it is, except that it's a way that's different from how most people would think of saying it. (I think the consensus is that the G is like the g in good, not like a 'j' or an 'h.')

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447071 08/03/15 05:17 AM
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DonaldLee, I am a beginner at the piano so can't tell you what to play. smile (Can't you include some jazz? laugh ) But I am Spanish and have even checked the English wikipedia, which usually includes the pronunciation of names and we both agree on how to pronounce Ginastera: it is with the strong Spanish J/G sound, which is something you don't have in English but is similar to your H only that stronger. That is, like HHHeenahstehrah. Good luck. smile

The X is the phonetic symbol for that strong H sound.

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Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβerto eβaˈɾisto xinasˈteɾa]; April 11, 1916 – June 25, 1983) was an Argentine composer of classical music. He is considered one of the most important 20th-century classical composers of the Americas.[1]


Marc, now you have some argument to defend your pronunciation. smile



It is pronounced standard as it should, so you can hear it in a voice program like this, choosing Spanish language:

http://www.acapela-group.com

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
Albunea #2447073 08/03/15 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Albunea
DonaldLee, I am a beginner at the piano so can't tell you what to play. smile (Can't you include some jazz? laugh ) But I am Spanish and have even checked the English wikipedia, which usually includes the pronunciation of names and we both agree on how to pronounce Ginastera: it is with the strong Spanish J/G sound, which is something you don't have in English but is similar to your H only that stronger. That is, like HHHeenahstehrah. Good luck. smile

The X is the phonetic symbol for that strong H sound.

Quote
Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈβerto eβaˈɾisto xinasˈteɾa]; April 11, 1916 – June 25, 1983) was an Argentine composer of classical music. He is considered one of the most important 20th-century classical composers of the Americas.[1]


Marc, now you have some argument to defend your pronunciation. smile


It is pronounced standard as it should, so you can hear it in a voice program like this, choosing Spanish language:

http://www.acapela-group.com

I think anyone who says anything on this might lose. grin

For fun, I just googled it, and here's the first thing that came up (if it's right, it makes us both wrong):

Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires to a Catalan father and an Italian mother. He preferred to pronounce his surname in its Catalan pronunciation, with a soft "G" (i.e., JEE'-nah-STEH-rah rather than the Castilian Spanish KHEE'-nah-STEH-rah).

If I look more, I think I'll find 5 other ways, none of them being what I said....

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447074 08/03/15 05:28 AM
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Oh wow if his parents were Catalan and Italian it makes a difference. I just thought of what it should be in Spanish spelling, and the English wikipedia agreed. But, yes, I have no clue now if his surname is Catalan or Italian. smile

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447075 08/03/15 05:30 AM
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However you say it, just say it with enough confidence to make the jury second-guess their own pronunciation.

As for your program, I would prefer to hear something more substantial by Bach, like a Suite or Partita or Toccata. Not a massive work, but something that shows you've gone beyond the required few preludes and fugues every undergrad has played. Given that the other works are mostly old friends, it should be doable to learn in your time frame. Of course, if a certain school requires the P&F, you can just have it ready to go for that school. Otherwise, I really like your program!


Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
Albunea #2447078 08/03/15 05:39 AM
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This one has it your way -- or what I thought was your way, except that the thing you quoted says it's like a "x," which I have no idea what it means. grin

This one, I can't really tell what he's doing ....it sounds like a hard "k."

The discussion on here starts out saying he liked it pronounced "like a G," which I think means what I said. But then someone replies the G is supposed to be SILENT. ha
So we've got a new possibility. (Maybe.)

This page says he liked it as "a soft G." I'm not sure what that means either -- I guess it means like a "j," as in jeans.

I think I give up. ha

Donald, if you say the name, maybe just say it like how George Costanza says his "favorite poet":


Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447199 08/03/15 02:21 PM
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I knew that Ginastera preferred the soft 'G' sound, but because I'm fluent in Spanish, I have a hard time forcing myself to pronounce it that way.

I was thinking that the Chopin/Liszt/Liszt portion of my program is a bit redundant. I could try to spend time learning a Bartok, Ligeti, or Stravinsky etude, but I'm just afraid of it throwing my confidence at audition. I could also add 21st century. Maybe Carter Catenaires? As long as it's short! ha


Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music


Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447218 08/03/15 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DonaldLee
I knew that Ginastera preferred the soft 'G' sound....

I've read and heard about "soft G sound" many many times, and have never known what people meant by it. I suspect it varies.
I'm guessing you mean like "j" in "jeans."

Quote
....but because I'm fluent in Spanish, I have a hard time forcing myself to pronounce it that way.

And I'm only semi-fluent in it, but that doesn't help me. ha

Quote
I was thinking that the Chopin/Liszt/Liszt portion of my program is a bit redundant. I could try to spend time learning a Bartok, Ligeti, or Stravinsky etude, but I'm just afraid of it throwing my confidence at audition.....

Nothing would be worth risking that. (Of course.)

Quote
I could also add 21st century. Maybe Carter Catenaires? As long as it's short! ha

I think even something short that's more 'modern' would be a very good addition -- if you like it and if you'd be confident with it.
BTW, Carter was actually writing stuff into the 21st century?
Cool! cool

P.S. Interesting factoid: Carter, whose stuff I consider more 'modern' and I think most people would, was actually born before Ginastera! (I means Jinastera.....I mean Hinastera.....uh, Inastera.....)

But then again, Scriabin, who was born before both of them.....

Not to mention Beethoven, who was born before everybody. grin

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
Mark_C #2447249 08/03/15 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I'm guessing you mean like "j" in "jeans."
I thought more like "j" as in "je suis"



Du holde Kunst...
Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447250 08/03/15 04:55 PM
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Here in Argentine I've heard it pronounced with the "H" as in "hot", perhaps a bit lower down the throat.

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447258 08/03/15 05:09 PM
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Donald: I think this means you can say it however you want and it'll be fine. grin

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
Mark_C #2447280 08/03/15 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DonaldLee
I could also add 21st century. Maybe Carter Catenaires? As long as it's short! ha

Carter's Catenaires looks like one of the true monsters of short recent piano works, as hard as the most difficult Ligeti etude. I haven't worked on it so maybe I'm wrong, but... be warned!

Originally Posted by Mark_C
P.S. Interesting factoid: Carter, whose stuff I consider more 'modern' and I think most people would, was actually born before Ginastera!

Carter's unusual case is well-known, a combination of the facts that he didn't get going for a while (his first truly mature work, perhaps, is his first String Quartet, written after he was 40), and that he then lasted for such a long time (he wrote lots and lots of works after the age of 90). It makes for an interesting distribution!

-J

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
beet31425 #2447286 08/03/15 06:16 PM
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You're correct about it being a monster, but I don't think it's as difficult as even the easier Ligeti etudes. I discussed this work with Ursula Oppens, and she said that it's very virtuosic, but not something to shy away from.


Donald Lee III
BM '16 James Madison University
MM '18 Cincinnati Conservatory of Music


Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
currawong #2447871 08/05/15 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I'm guessing you mean like "j" in "jeans."
I thought more like "j" as in "je suis"



The only way I can think of that it would be like the J in "je suis" would be if for some reason he pronounced his name in Catalan, and I think he was half Catalan?

In Spain, in Spanish a "g" is followed by an "i" or and "e" is pronounced with a hard, gutteral sound. it's "gato" with a "g" like in "go", but it's "gente" with a big ol' throat thing.

Cough up some phlegm. Same as Hebrew "chet" sound.

In Argentina (wasn't Ginastera from Argentina despite being half Catalan?) it would probably not be with the gutteral "g" but with more like an "h" sound. Argentinians have an unusual accent and I'm not familiar with it, or any version of Spanish outside Spain, but most of Latin America tends to take out that gutteral sound that Spanish-speaking Spaniards use and make it breathier.

More or less:

Heenastera in Argentina
Chhhhhheenastera in Spanish-speaking Spain (gutteral "ch" not "ch" as in chair")
Jeenastera in Catalan-speaking Spain. ("J" as in "je suis")

But while I'm sure I can pronounce Ginastera properly (at least in Spain), I would much prefer to be able to play it properly.

Re: Master's Degree Audition Program
DonaldLee #2447903 08/05/15 12:51 PM
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An alternative to the Carter, but equally or more impressive is Boulez's Incises (1994 version). It has a similar toccata section, but is more interesting (IMO). Really hard though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m9P1Ka7DP8



Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II


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