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 Concerto with Orchestra
Author: Mikey 
Date:   2003-03-27 00:19

I just won my first concerto competition. I will perform Premiere Rapsodie with the William and Mary Orchestra in a month. I could really use some advice on how to prepare musically, mentally, and emotionally. I'm thrilled, but also very nervous.


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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2003-03-27 13:18

Mikey -

Congratulations. You don't win something like this without talent and a lot of hard work.

For hints on the Debussy, see my summary of Charles Neidich's master class at http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=101681&t=101441 .

Have fun. You've earned it.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2003-03-27 14:44

Mentally, just be confident. You were chosen to be the performer. And they wouldn't have chosen you if they weren't sure that you would do a wonderful job. Practice as you would any other concert piece. Learn it as you would anything else. I would also try to learn it at different tempos. Learn it a little faster than you're going to play it. If you can play it perfectly faster, then any slower you wouldn't miss any notes. But learn it a little slower than performance level to smooth out the evenness of any runs (the slower, the harder to make the eight notes even). And of course practice it at normal speed as well.

I'm not sure on this (maybe someone else can verify or defy it) but I think you should probably take the sections and play them a little louder than marked. A piano should be on the verge of a mezzo piano. I believe this because common sense seems to be telling me that with an orchestra behind you, the combined volume of an orchestra playing at "piano" may overshadow your "shadow". Unless a clarinet would naturally project more. That, unfortunately, I don't know.

Morrigan's "Upcoming" (past) auditions

Maybe not TOTALLY what you're looking for, but there are some tips here from people on how to prepare for a performance. There are also a lot on an interview, but just read what applies for you.


PS - I just remember that post and searched for it. I should keep a database of sorts of helful posts, cause I assume that's what Ken Shaw and GBK seem to do. They ALWAYS have the right information on hand at the right time. And lately, I've been wondering if it's their brains or a computer database that has them all listed. . . .

US Army Japan Band

Post Edited (2003-03-27 15:57)

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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: William 
Date:   2003-03-27 15:37

Most clarinetists rarely get the chance to perform solos with a symphony orchestra and you are fortunate to be able to do so. You are also most likely to be already prepared enough, having won this opportunity via audition opr competition. Just relax and be faithful to your own musical intuitions and have the musical "time of your life." To provide yoursel some perspective, you may wish to listen a number of recordings such as Harold Wrights classic rendition of this work. But after that, just relax and do it "your way" the best that you can. Wish I could be there to listen--good clarinetting the "Claude".

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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2003-03-27 16:25

Having played solos with Orchestras I can say a few things to be very mindful of ... make sure you have a variety of excellent reeds that project well and play well in all settings. Bring water and watch out for overplaying...if you have a sensitive conductor the balances should be fine. good luck!

David Dow

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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: Mikey 
Date:   2003-03-27 22:50

Thanks for all your suggestions! I'll let you know how it goes.


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 Re: Rhapsodie with Orchestra
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2003-03-27 23:53


Perhaps this discussion about the Rhapsodie from a few months back would be helpful.

Good luck.

Gregory Smith

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 Re: Concerto with Orchestra
Author: GBK 
Date:   2003-03-28 04:40

The melodic lines must sing, and the technical passages must sound fluid and effortless.

When working on your reeds for this performance, have a few that are a bit on the lighter side but still maintain nice color. Often a reed that is a shade lighter than normal will project a bit more, and will help to make your long phrases easier to control. The subtle entrances and the delicate endings of phrases both require a reed that will speak clearly at a low volume. At the same time, your reed must be able to provide support for the crisp articulated passages.

If you feel that endurance is an issue, always go with a slightly softer reed...GBK

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