Clarinet Pages

 

ORCHESTRAL EXCERPTS

Most orchestral auditions consist mainly of orchestral excerpts. These are short passages taken (usually) from the first clarinet parts of major works for orchestra. Most of these excerpts are famous "solos" or difficult passages. Though the playing of excerpts might seem odd or unmusical, it is an essential skill for auditioning. It also helps to know these passages before you play the work in question.

The list below was complied from required audition excerpt lists for eleven professional orchestra positions over the last several years. These are in rough order of "popularity."

  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 3
  • Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe Suite 2
  • Mendelssohn: Midsummer Nights Dream Scherzo
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3
  • Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
  • Respighi: Pines of Rome
  • Schubert: Symphony No. 8
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
  • Kodaly: Dances of Galanta
  • Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherezade
  • Stravinsky: Firebird
  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  • Rimsky-Korsakoff: Capriccio Espagnol
  • Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini
  • Berlioz: Symphony Fantastique
  • Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 1
  • Tchaikowsky: Symphony No. 5

You can start learning these from excerpt books such as Bonade or the International Music series, but be aware there are wrong notes! The excerpt books will also give you an idea of which passages are usually asked. Eventually you will want to learn the whole part, not just the excerpt or commonly-asked passages. Ideally, you should listen to several recordings of each work, preferably with a score. It is essential that you be able to imagine the orchestra playing along with you, so that you can be rhythmically exact.

Most auditions will also require all or part of the Mozart Concerto.