Ah, Richard Strauss you make me go crazy sometimes! I mentioned in my last post that I’m getting ready for an audition. The afore mentioned audition isn’t until the end of April, and like most auditions there is Strauss on the menu. Most people know the Strauss waltzes. This isn’t the waltz Strauss’. Oh no. This is a Strauss writing at the end of the 19th century when composers were starting to push the boundaries into what we call “20th century” music compositions. For example the one Strauss piece that is almost always on the audition for major orchestras is a tone poem called Don Jaun. It’s the war horse orchestral excerpt of the violin world. Thankful I’m not learning that one (although I have). No I’m working on an excerpt from his opera Der Rosenkavalier. Whenever I do the first read though of this I totally freak out. It’s taken me a week to really “understand” what is going on in this excerpt. And then I listened to it. It’s really lovely, and dramatic, and, well hard. It jumps all over the violin, goes into the highest registers, and has accidentals galore. What’s an accidental you ask? It’s just what it sounds like, something that doesn’t normally belong. But, it’s there, and I have to figure it out. I think I’ve got the 1st page under control now. Too bad it’s still painfully under tempo. Ahh, well that’s why I’m already working on music for an April audition (besides the fact that there are 10 excerpts to learn. Most auditions only do 4-5). It’s like learning to run the 100 yard dash perfectly 10 times in a row and winning every time. No pressure. It has to be perfect. Perfect rhythm, perfect intonation, perfect bow strokes, well you get the point. I’m not perfect. No where close, which is why I struggle with this part of the music world. I wish there was another way to get into an orchestra. I have to say that I really like a lot of the excerpts. They are powerful, dramatic, delicate, passionate, and fun. I think I can do a lot with them. So, for now I’m attempting to be perfect, or at the very least consistent. After all the more consistent I am, the better things will go when I’m standing in front of a giant black sheet shaking, and trying to play perfectly in one try.