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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) Repertoire for Concerto Competition
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Noahharry
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« on: Jul 06, 2017, 04:43PM »

I have 2 upcoming concerto competitions in the coming months, one for my school and one for the local Youth Orchestra.  Both of which, will be highly competitive especially since, 1) to the general public, the trombone is not a solo instrument, and 2) there are extremely talented competitors.  For example, Last years winners are attending Juilliard and Eastman on huge scholarships. 

I went over the repertoire that I would be comfortable with, with my lesson teacher and we came to the conclusion on 3 pieces for me to decide on.  Gordon Jacob Concerto, Larsson Concertino, and Grondahl.  All are within my technical and musical abilities and were "signed off" by my teacher as within my abilities. 

Now I have the hard job of choosing which I enjoy the most and which will bring me most success.  These are possibly 2 drastically different things. I can definitely say that the Grondahl is my favorite, but I don't know if that will bring in success. It sounds extremely beautiful, but not technically impressive (even though it is obviously technically difficult).  I feel as though the judges will want a mix of musicality and amazing technicalities, and Im not sure the Grondahl brings that.  You may say "pick what you enjoy because you will be able to hear yourself enjoying the piece and that will be shown in the way you play" But what do I know, so I come to TTF for help. 

What piece out of my selected concerto literature do you enjoy the most and which do you see winning a concerto competition?
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Dukesboneman

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 06, 2017, 04:57PM »

The Gordon Jacob is a wonderful piece that is not used as much as it used to. Some times coming in with a piece everyone else is not performing makes you stand out
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Noahharry
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 06, 2017, 05:17PM »

The Jacob is definitely my second pick
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SilverBone
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 06, 2017, 06:26PM »

Purely as a listener, I'd choose to hear the Grondahl any day.  One of my favorite pieces!
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Noahharry
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 06, 2017, 09:41PM »

Me too, Im definitely leaning heavily towards Grondahl.
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uncle duke
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 07, 2017, 06:06AM »

  While Molla does the Jacob concerto justice via you-tube, I believe in or for your best interest would be to learn the Larsson concertino if you're able. 

  The Grondahl would be a fine piece for the judges to hear right before a Saturday lunch break assuming you were to choose that one - excepting the end measures of the tune.  Imo, Grondahl should of quit while he was ahead towards the end though I will mention his work does have the most pleasant sound of the three choices you presented here.   
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matto

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« Reply #6 on: Jul 07, 2017, 06:59AM »

I always wonder how much the complexity of the accompaniment plays into selecting the winner in these competitions. You mention high school and youth orchestra, and I'm assuming these are pretty advanced groups, but the Grondahl is pretty tough for the orchestra. Larsson is just strings and pretty short though the first movement might be tricky with all the quasi-cadenza style writing. The Jacob is straightforward enough, but the longest of the three at about 20 minutes.

FWIW, my order of musical preference is Grondahl, Jacob, Larsson, but reverses for ensemble skill/complexity to Larsson, Jacob, Grondahl.
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Matt Hodgson
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 07, 2017, 08:27AM »

The Larsson was written with the pro performer/amateur orchestra mindset. I've seen it win a concerto competition (Larry Zalkind, 1981, University of Michigan), and I think is the most accessible of the three for the performer. The accompaniment is sparse--in fact the first movement is largely alla recitative (you're playing alone).

The Jacob is longer, and makes more demands on range and technique. It's always struck me as a rather "academic" piece of music in that it is certainly idiomatic for the trombone, but leaves me flat and exhausted at the end.

The Grondahl offers the listener a prettier listening experience, and will display just how broad and deep your musicianship is--how you can vary your tone, technical fluency, dynamic range and balance with the orchestra.  It was written in 1924 but definitely wears the 19th century on its sleeve.

That being said, and with your situation, I'd rank them as follows
1) Larsson
2) Grondahl
3) Jacob

If you stick with trombone for any length of time, you'll be expected to learn the Grondahl and the Jacob--they're standard rep for the trombone--so don't be too anxious if you don't do them right away.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did the Jacob (first movement) in my HS Senior year--didn't pursue the Grondahl till undergrad or the Larsson till grad school.

Just one man's opinion.
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Daniel De Kok
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Noahharry
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 07, 2017, 09:14AM »

One thing swaying me away from larsson and towards Grondahl is their accessibility to a average listener.  Larssons tonality is iffy for a the regular listener. Every non-musician thats heard it says "Thats interesting" but they don't want to listen.  Where the Grondahl is musically accessible.  On the subject of accompanist difficulty, the youth orchestra will be able to handle all of these pieces and my schools is with a piano so all will be fine in that department.
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Noahharry
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 10, 2017, 11:57AM »

Update!

I have decided on the Jacob. I think I am not musically mature enough for Grondahl, maybe once I hit college.  And the Jacob suits my more technical style of playing.  Thanks for the Responses! :)
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djdekok

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« Reply #10 on: Jul 11, 2017, 05:41PM »

which movement/s are you going to perform?
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Daniel De Kok
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Noahharry
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« Reply #11 on: Jul 12, 2017, 09:59AM »

I will probably play the first 2 movements for the school competition and the whole thing for the youth orchestra. Apparently, only a really small amount of people even audition for my schools competition, which is good for me!  But the youth orchestra is definitely going to be a competition. I have a 2 - 3 months to really get it down.  It gives me time to work on more immediate things while still doing some listening. 
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