Princeton University Orchestra 2019 – 2020 Audition Materials

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Dear potential PUOers,
Herewith, the audition excerpts for 2019-2020. They are drawn from the three major symphonies in our season: Brahms 4, Bruckner 4, and Mahler 6. The movement indications are on each excerpt.

For your audition, please also bring a prepared work of 5 minutes or less. You can pick a work that’s different in character to your excerpt.

To recap from past years: the way you play the excerpts is of paramount importance. Pay attention to every phrasing mark, and in particular every dynamic. Metronome marks are given, but only as a guide. If you don’t know the works, then give at least the movement that your excerpt is in a complete listen. We need to know that you can play the notes, and with a knowledge of how it sounds.

Recordings — this year I’ll just give some suggestions, without endorsing any particular one. They are different but almost all fall within standard parameters of tempo, phrasing, etc. I’m told that just about everybody has access to Spotify, and they can all be found there. Try also the Naxos website, accessible through Mendel Music Library. YouTube is also a possible source, but you’ll find that many symphonic “videos” to be audio only, with a slideshow.

Spotify Playlist Here

Brahms 4
Kleiber / Vienna
Szell / Cleveland
Karajan / Berlin

Bruckner 4
Nelsons / Concertgebouw
Dohnányi / Philharmonia
Celebidache / Munich

Mahler 6
Haitink / Chicago
Bernstein / Vienna
Metropoulos*/ New York

*Dimtri Metropoulos was a Mahler pioneer. Amazing reading of the piece in a 1955 live performance. The Philharmonic was obviously not all that familiar with it….

A note about movement order in M6. There is controversy about the order of the inner movements, the Scherzo and the Andante. Mahler did it both ways, but his last word was said to be Andante-Scherzo. But after his death his widow Alma claimed that he finally came to prefer his original idea of Scherzo-Andante. Who knows, but it’s done both ways. We’ll do it Scherzo-Andante. I’ll talk more about it when the time comes.

Percussionists — I only give a timpani excerpt. For mallets and snare bring something of your own. Although there are some great parts in Mahler, there wasn’t really anything longer that made a good excerpt.

Oboists, Flutists — Short excerpts are also included for English horn and Piccolo. You need not prepare separate pieces with these, just bring the instrument and the excerpts in with your regular audition.

Audition Orchestral Excerpts

You can download PDF files of the audition excerpts here

Thanks and good luck!