Competition Repertoire

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  • Please refer to application and video recording instructions. Ensure these four items are labeled as required and submitted in the order as shown:

    1. Bach One of the following selections from unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas:

    • Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 1 in G minor
    • Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
    • Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 3 in C major
    • Allemanda, Double, Corrente and Double from Partita No 1 in B minor
    • Ciaccona from Partita No 2 in D minor
    • Preludio, Loure, Gavotte en Rondeau and Menuet I and II from Partita No 3 in E major

    2. Paganini One Caprice from Op 1

    3 Mozart One of the following first movements with piano accompaniment:

    • Allegro from Concerto No 3 in G major, K 216
    • Allegro from Concerto No 4 in D major, K 218
    • Allegro Aperto from Concerto No 5 in A major, K 219

    It is not mandatory, but competitors are encouraged to supply their own cadenza.

    4 One movement from the following Sonatas with piano accompaniment:

    • • Brahms Sonata No 1 in G major Op 78
    • • Brahms Sonata No 2 in A major Op 100
    • • Brahms Sonata No 3 in D minor Op 108
    • • Debussy Sonata for violin and piano
    • • Faure Sonata in A major Op 13
    • • Franck Sonata in A major
    • • Grieg Sonata No 3, Op 45
    • • Janaček Sonata for violin and piano
    • • Prokofieff Sonata No 1 in F minor
    • • Prokofieff Sonata No 2 in D major
    • • Ravel Sonata for violin and piano
  • Competitors are encouraged to present repertoire that exhibits a broad stylistic range.

    Competitors may not repeat composers in their repertoire choices with the exception of Paganini and Ad Libitum selections and never three times. Please visit the FAQ section on www.violincompetition.co.nz for further clarification.

    Ad libitum and virtuoso works are the competitor’s own choice subject to final approval of the submitted programme by the Competition’s Artistic Adviser.

    Final approval of semi-finalists’ programmes will be given by the Competition’s management by 20 February 2017.

  • 16 competitors
    Maximum time limit for total performance: 40 minutes including entrances, tuning and bows Competitors must choose from the following categories (order of performance is the Competitor’s choice):

    1. Bach One of the following selections from unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas:

    • Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 1 in G minor
    • Grave and Fuga from Sonata No 2 in A minor
    • Adagio and Fuga from Sonata No 3 in C major
    • Allemanda, Double, Corrente and Double from Partita No 1 in B minor
    • Ciaccona from Partita No 2 in D minor
    • Preludio, Loure, Gavotte en Rondeau and Menuet I and II from Partita No 3 in E major

    2. One Caprice from Op 1 of Paganini

    3. One of the following salon pieces for violin and piano:

    • • Albeniz (arr Kreisler) Tango Op 165 No 2
    • • Chaminade (arr Kreisler) Serenade Espagnole Op 150
    • • Chopin (arr Milstein) Nocturne in C-sharp minor
    • • Elgar Salut d’Amour Op 12
    • • Elgar Chanson de matin Op 15 No 2
    • • Elgar La capricieuse Op 17
    • • Faure Berceuse in D major Op 16 (to be performed muted)
    • • Gershwin (arr Heifetz) Prelude No 2
    • • Granados (arr Kreisler) Danzas espanolas Op 37 No 5, Andaluza
    • • Kreisler Berceuse Romantique Op 9
    • • Kreisler Liebesleid
    • • Kreisler Liebesfreud
    • • Liszt (arr Milstein) Consolation No 3
    • • Ravel (arr G Catherine) Piece en forme de Habanera
    • • Rimsky-Korsakov Sadko (Song of India) (arr Kreisler)
    • • Sibelius (arr M Press) Nocturne Op 51 No 3
    • • Sibelius Romance Op 78 No 2
    • • Tchaikovsky Melodie in E-flat major (from Souvenir d’un lieu cher) Op 42
    • • Tchaikovsky Valse Sentimentale Op 51 No 6

    4. Ad Libitum
    Work of Competitor’s choice (please refer FAQ on the Competition’s website)
    Maximum duration 12 minutes including introduction
    Ad libitum means “according to pleasure”. Each quarter-finalist has the opportunity to demonstrate to the judges and the audience a work that personally resonates with them; that demonstrates a particular talent or enthusiasm, something in which they truly excel…. that gives pleasure – to the performer and the audience.

    The following must be observed:

    • • Each competitor is required to introduce the work from the stage prior to its performance (for up to a maximum of 2 minutes).
    • • Any costs associated with collaborating artists other than the Competition pianists will be borne by the Competitor.
    • • Any costs associated with hiring, delivery and preparation of any instruments other than pianos will be borne by the Competitor,
    • • Each Competitor receives a maximum of 120 minutes’ rehearsal with their assigned pianist to prepare their full Queenstown program including the ad libitum selection.
    • • Competitors are required to provide a full score to the Competition by 1 February.
  • 16 competitors
    Maximum time limit for total performance: 45 minutes including entrances, tunings and bows Competitors must choose from the following categories (order of performance is the Competitor’s choice):

    1. Commissioned piece for solo violin by New Zealand composer Karlo Margetic (maximum 5 minutes duration). This work will be made available on 1 April 2017.

    2. One of the following Sonatas with piano:

    • • Brahms Sonata No 1 in G major Op 78
    • • Brahms Sonata No 2 in A major Op 100
    • • Brahms Sonata No 3 in D minor Op 108
    • • Debussy Sonata for violin and piano
    • • Faure Sonata in A major Op 13
    • • Franck Sonata in A major
    • • Grieg Sonata No 3, Op 45
    • • Janaček Sonata for violin and piano
    • • Prokofieff Sonata No 1 in F minor
    • • Prokofieff Sonata No 2 in D major
    • • Ravel Sonata for violin and piano

    3. One virtuoso work of own choice from the 19th or 20th century.
    Please note the total performance time limit of 45 minutes for this round when making your selection. As a guide only, the following composers’ works are acceptable: Saint-Saens, Paganini, Waxman, Tchaikovsky, Bazzini, Sarasate, Wieniawski, Ysaye, etc

  • 6 competitors will perform, in its entirety, one of the following string quintets by Mozart: (from Barenreiter edition)

    • • Quintet in C major, K515
    • • Quintet in G minor, K516
    • • Quintet in D major, K593
    • • Quintet in E-flat major, K614
  • 3 competitors will perform, in its entirety, one of the following concertos:

    • • Bartok Concerto No 2
    • • Brahms Concerto in D major
    • • Britten Concerto
    • • Dvořák Concerto in A major
    • • Elgar Concerto in B minor Op 61
    • • Hindemith Concerto
    • • Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor
    • • Prokofieff Concerto No 1 in D major Op 19
    • • Prokofieff Concerto No 2 in G minor Op 63
    • • Sibelius Concerto in D minor
    • • Shostakovich Concerto in A minor Op 99
    • • Stravinsky Concerto
    • • Tchaikovsky Concerto in D major
    • • Walton Violin Concerto

Concertmaster Solo Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Danse Russe

The Danse Russe from Act 3 of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake, with its extensive violin solo, was an additional number composed specifically for the ballerina Pelageya Karpakova. For political reasons, Karpakova had replaced the Bolshoi’s prima ballerina Anna Sobeshchanskaya in the premiere of the ballet, and she danced the role of the Swan Queen until Sobeshchanskaya was reinstated by choreographer Marius Petipa a few weeks later. The status of this movement as part of the ballet remains a matter of choice for each production, but as an independent piece for solo violin the Danse Russe has established itself firmly in the repertoire of many violinists.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Composer’s Note

The whole idea behind the title is that although formerly laid out (with detailed indications not-withstanding), how the individual performer approaches the work is entirely up to them. The work is at times sad, angry, passionate, frustrated and wistful. It was written at a time of personal sadness. However, the individual performers might wish to reflect the tragic loss of a loved one, reminiscences of a time past, nostalgic visions of a vista much loved and yet far away, the tragedy of vanished or unrequited love, or merely the disappearance of the last drops of the bottle of wine consumed as a weak solace for any of the above. The beauty of music is that the audience doesn’t need to know what inspired or influenced the performance, but rather that they are engaged by that performance and consequently able to go on their own journey through it.

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Beethoven: Three Piano Trios, Op 1

Beethoven was in his early twenties when he composed his three piano trios Op 1 during his first two years in Vienna. They were first performed at the residence of Prince Lichnowsky (to whom they were dedicated) in the presence of Haydn. Determined to make his mark on the musical world, Beethoven chose a medium popular with amateurs and regarded essentially as a vehicle for the pianist. Beethoven set about revolutionising the piano trio, making the role of the violin and cello more independent of the piano, and expanding the form from three movements to the four commonly associated with symphonies and string quartets.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Piano Trio in E flat, Op 1 No 1
Allegro
Adagio cantabile
Scherzo
Finale (Presto)

Beethoven’s debt to Mozart is apparent in the E flat Trio, particularly in the first two movements. Nonetheless, his individuality expresses itself in the inflation of the first movement to almost symphonic proportions. The ensuing Adagio cantabile is alternately tranquil and ardent, while as his third movement, instead of a well-mannered minuet Beethoven delivers a more forceful scherzo. In most previous piano trios the concluding movement would have taken the form of a rondo. Beethoven gives us a sonata-form finale, emphasising his seriousness of purpose despite the witty nature of its thematic material.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Piano Trio No 5 in D major, Op 70 No 1 (The Ghost) (1808)
Allegro vivace e con brio
Largo assai ed espressivo
Presto

This Trio is one of a pair composed in 1808, around the time of the Fift and Sixth Symphonies, both of which give more significant and independent roles to the violin and cello than are found in the Trios of Beethoven’s predecessors. The first movement introduces material both lyrical and concise, with a dramatic element that becomes more important in the development, while the finale is light, energetic and good-humoured. The eerie tremolo effects and abrupt dynamic contrasts that characterise the slow movement earned the work its popular nickname, The Ghost.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Piano Trio in G, Op 1 No 2
Adagio – Allegro vivace
Largo con espression
Scherzo (Allegro)
Finale (Presto)

The first movement of the G major Trio opens with a slow introduction, a symphonic device never previously used in a piano trio. The Allegro that follows is impulsive and Haydnesque, but the meditative stillness of the hymn-like slow movement that follows is pure Beethoven. As in the E flat Trio the third movement is a scherzo, though more playful than its unruly counterpart. The sonata-form finale again nods to Haydn in its rhythmic energy and the carefree high spirits of its main theme, but there’s a rustic quality to the merrymaking that bears the stamp of Beethoven’s character.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Piano Trio in C minor, Op 1 No 3
Allegro con brio
Andante cantabile con variazioni
Menuetto (Quasi Allegro)
Finale (Prestissimo)

Although he praised the first two trios, Haydn was rather startled by the C minor. Certainly the restless and impassioned nature of the first movement must have seemed alien to him, and Beethoven’s harmonic daring is more apparent than in the first two trios. The Andante cantabile is a set of variations in E flat major, offering a soothing antidote to the drama of the previous movement. Nominally a minuet, the third movement is unsettling rather than stately, while the extreme contrasts of the finale must surely have confirmed Haydn’s reservations about the work. Naturally it was Beethoven’s favourite of the three.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Bartók Concerto No 2
Allegro non troppo
Andante tranquillo
Allegro molto

At first glance Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto appears to be in the time-honoured three-movement form but a closer look reveals that while the central movement is quite overtly a set of variations, the finale is in fact one massive variation on the sonata-form first movement. This structural complexity does not detract in the slightest from the melodic inventiveness and general approachability of the work, with its spicily Hungarian flavours and abundant opportunities for the violin to sing and to strut.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Brahms Concerto in D major
Allegro non troppo
Adagio
Allegro agitato, ma non troppo vivace

Following Beethoven’s example, Brahms designed his Violin Concerto along symphonic lines, its essentially serene character reminiscent of his Second Symphony, composed during the previous year. The first and second movements exploit the singing qualities of the violin, while the finale is in a more virtuosic style with Hungarian flavours.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Dvořák: Violin Concerto in A minor, Op 53
Allegro ma non troppo
Adagio ma non troppo
Finale (Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo)

Like Brahms’s Violin Concerto, Dvořák’s was inspired by the artistry of the violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim. Composition was begun soon after the Wind Serenade and the first set of Slavonic Dances, and both works contribute to its style – the woodwind scoring is one of the delights of this concerto, while the influence of Czech folk music permeates the finale.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Prokofieff Violin Concerto No 1 in D Major, Op 19
Andantino
Scherzo (Vivaccisimo)
Moderato

Prokofieff was still in his mid-twenties and regarded as something of an “enfant terrible” when he produced this remarkably melodious and contemplative Violin Concerto. The first movement opens with a sustained, songful melody, and despite the motor-rhythms of the scherzo the defining characteristic of the work is its restrained lyricism.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Prokofieff Violin Concerto No 2 in G Minor, Op 63
Allegro moderato
Andante assai
Allegro, ben marcato

Almost twenty years separate Prokofieff’s violin concertos, the second being composed shortly after his return to the Soviet Union. Unlike its predecessor, the second follows the traditional pattern of two fast movements flanking a slow one, but lyrical elements are again very much to the fore, with many anticipations of the melodic and orchestral style of Prokofieff’s ballet Romeo and Juliet.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Sibelius Concerto in D minor, Op 47
Allegro moderato
Adagio di molto
Allegro

Sibelius had long since abandoned his youthful ambition to be a solo violinist by the time he composed his Violin Concerto, but his intimate knowledge of the instrument allowed him to compose for it with boldness and confidence. The first and second movements in particular strike a distinctive balance between passionate lyricism and a sternly northern tone of voice, while the finale was wittily described by Sir Donald Francis Tovey as “a polonaise for polar bears.”

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Tchaikovsky Concerto in D, Op 35
Allegro moderato
Canzonetta (Andante)
Allegro vivacissimo

Pronounced unplayable by the virtuoso for whom it was originally intended, Tchaikovsky’s remains one of the most technically challenging of all concertos for the violin. Yet for all the virtuosity it demands this perennial favourite has a profoundly lyrical heart, particularly in the Canzonetta second movement.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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Walton: Violin Concerto
Andante tranquillo
Presto capriccioso à la napolitana
Vivace

Of all Walton’s works it is the Violin Concerto, commissioned by Jascha Heifetz, that most reflects his lifelong infatuation with the vibrant, sun-drenched landscape of Italy. The wistful opening theme of the first movement alternates with music of a decidedly dramatic temperament, while the second movement, part tarantella and part canzonetta, is a virtuoso tour de force. The march-like theme which opens the finale is soon juxtaposed with a soaring and highly sensuous melody, and these two strongly contrasting elements dominate the movement.

Programme note courtesy of Robert Johnson

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RECORDING TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The Competition’s preferred video file specification/format is MP4:

You can use external microphones, but the audio must be of the filmed performance and it must synch and match with the video otherwise we will not be able to verify it as a live recording.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their recordings (especially the sound) are of high quality. The Competition will not accept and is not responsible for any corrupted or incomplete files or recordings of insufficient quality and application fees will not be refunded. Please review the Competition’s Rules and Regulations and FAQs.

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