Junior Oboe: Audition Solo 1B, Moderato
There is a saying in music that “up is up and down is down.” What that means is that one should generally follow the contours of the melody: getting louder when the line goes up in pitch, and softer when it goes down in pitch. That is a good approach when playing this solo. Some additional things to think about in preparing:
- Lead the melody all the way to the downbeat appoggiatura in mm. 4. You should lean on the D and then let it resolve naturally to the C. The same idea applies in mm. 12.
- Pay attention to rhythmic accuracy of the triplets, and be sure the dotted eighth – sixteenth rhythm in mm. 7 sounds different than the triplets.
- Measure 17 is forte – be sure to play out strongly.
- In mm. 21 (a. ending) open up the embouchure and lower your jaw a bit as you move to the low C.
Clinic Oboe: Audition Solo 2B, Moderato / Allegro agitato
This solo has slower, more expressive sections at the beginning and end, and an energetic middle section in 6/8. Try to get maximum contrast between these two ideas. In addition:
- The moderato section that opens the solo and returns at the end should be played with a beautiful sound and good expression. Follow the ups and downs of the melody.
- Pay attention to notes that aren’t in the key, in this case E flat. The D flats in mms. 3, 4 and 8 are expressive – bring them out with weight and vibrato.
- Follow the dynamic indications carefully. Bring out the accents within the prevailing dynamic. In other words, in louder sections, accents should be stronger than accents in softer dynamics.
- Slow down noticeably in mm. 8 so that the rit. is clearly heard.
- The allegro agitato section is in c minor. Try to make it sound “spooky.”
- When playing in a compound meter like 6/8 be sure to feel ALL the eighth notes, especially when there are rests. Practice with your metronome on 8ths for better rhythmic accuracy.
Senior Oboe: Audition Solo 3B, Allegretto/Andantino
This solo starts in d minor, modulates to F major, and then returns to d minor again. These are excellent keys for the oboe, so listen for a free ringing sound on every note. Other things to consider in your preparation:
- In mm. 5 keep the sound beautiful as you move to the low D and C#. Remember “down is down” so don’t let the tone spread, as is the oboe’s tendency in the low register.
- There are a number of notes with tenuto markings: mm. 12, 13, 14, and 16 for example. Give these notes a bit more weight, length, and vibrato.
- In both the a. and b. endings, bring out the accented notes.
- Make an even crescendo in mm. 13-14: think of each note a little louder than the one before.
- There is a high E in mm. 11. The correct fingering for this note is right hand : 1/2 hole, 2, 3 plus the G# and Eb keys in the left pinky, and the thumb octave; left hand 0, 2, 3. Some oboes have a third octave key that can be useful in getting very high notes to speak more easily. If your oboe has one, experiment to see if it helps with the high E.
High E fingering:
Download these performance notes [PDF].