NY Phil Audition Challenge: Week 12

Guys. This has been a good news/bad news kind of week for me.

The good news is that I got to take a last-minute trip to Tahoe with my boyfriend. It’s amazingly beautiful here, and we’re staying on the Nevada side, so if I get tired of striking natural beauty, I can go gamble at the casino downstairs. (I won $5 at video poker last night—which I played so I could get a free Coke. Oh yeah. I’m a high roller.)

The bad news is that I caught a nasty cold the night before I left, so I’ve spent most of my time so far wrapped up in blankets in the hotel room, watching the Olympics. I’m super congested, half-deaf, and hopped up on cough syrup as I write this. And in the video. Believe me, you can tell.

So, you know, enjoy that.

 As penance, I offer you the sunset over the lake last night.

As penance, I offer you the sunset over the lake last night.

My good bow is also STILL in the shop. It turns out, my bow guy was on vacation last week... (How DARE he.) This is probably the best time of the year for me to have my equipment out of my hands, since I'm hardly performing at all. But still, the sound and feel of this bow is SO different. I know it sounds precious of me, but I don’t feel like myself as a player when using this bow. I’m fighting to play things well that are usually easy, and that’s pretty demoralizing.

But you know what? The concert will happen no matter what instrument you’re playing. The audition is going to happen whether you’re healthy or not.

So I made the video anyway.

In the video:

  • C major scale in thirds (0:00): I dunno what to tell you. I'm pretty high on cold meds in this part, and I haven't settled in yet. I played two octaves, and the high one is... yeah. It's times like these that I wish I had an E string. ENJOY!!!
  • Mendelssohn Scherzo (0:58): I mostly focused on keeping the tempo steady, because MAN do I love to rush this excerpt in auditions. I'm actually pretty pleased with how the stroke came out, reminding me once again that it's not the bow doing it. It's me. (But god, does the bow make it easier.)
  • Don Juan beginning (2:19): My G string decided to mutiny right as I started this the first time, so I spared you my re-tuning. (Altitude and humidity changes!) I played the first 8-ish bars of this. In the original challenge, he only asked for the first four, but we have a few more rests than the violins, and I've been cut off at this point and told to skip ahead in auditions before.
  • Mahler 10 (3:13): He only asked for part of the excerpt in the original, but the one I've chosen is so short that I just played all of it. The tonality here is such a moving target, it doesn't really need to be longer. (Since I realize many of you may not be familiar with this posthumous and only partially completed work, here's a fantastic recording of Bernstein and Vienna if you'd like to hear it in context.)

And now I'm gonna go lie down.

See you next week...!