Orchestral excerpts guide – Dvorak 9th Symphony
Ory’s Flute Tips
Orchestral Excerpts Guide – Dvorak 9th Symphony
My next orchestral project to come is going to be a very special event, one that I doubt you’ve ever seen before:
We (with the Geneva Camerata) are going to perform the 9th Symphony by Dvorak, by heart, without any music scores, and on top of it, we’ll have 2 choreographers from the Paris Opera and we’ll have to play while dancing and moving on stage. We’ve done already few projects in this style, but playing this symphony by heart is definitely going to be challenging, especially as I’ve played already the principal flute part and this time I play the 2nd flute part (which is cool, because it’s full of wonderful soli – which are also often required in orchestral auditions).
The following 2 excerpts from the symphony are required for every 2nd flute/piccolo audition and I wanted to give you some tips for them:
👄 The first excerpt – Articulation and finger precision
For this excerpt I have a little trick for you, with some alternative fingerings. At first they might seem odd, but give them a chance for a short while and I’m sure you’ll see why they work, especially in the 4th and last bar. The idea is not to use the RH index finger for the A# in it’s normal position, but rather on the Bb lever key that normally we’d never use. Here are my fingerings recommendations for bar 4 of the excerpt (too avoid confusion, I’d recommend to use this A# fingering throughout the whole excerpt):
As for the articulation, make sure you chose a type of attack that reacts quickly, with a full sound immediately after the attack. I’d avoid choosing for example a ‘ta’ attack and choose something more frontal to gain more clarity.
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🎢 Excerpt 2 – Present the jury your low register
Both the excerpts are not especially difficult, but have their challenges. As a second flutist, you’ll be required often to play in the low register and the second excerpt (starting at no. 12) requires a good control over your low register and a chance to present a full bodied, rich sound without cracking or missing any note.
I’d recommend you to choose a color which is a bit darker, bit metallic, with a clear tone center. Besides of an artistic reason (that I simply think it fits better to the musical moment), it’s more stable and will reduce the chances of cracking or intonation issues. Make sure all notes are homogenous and have the exact same color. Eb, Db and C (bar 5 and 6 of the excerpt) have a tendency to sound very differently from one another and matching them can help a lot.
Take care for your intonation: I’d recommend to use a tuner to play for you an Ab as a pivot note, and then play the excerpt together with it (you can read my article about how you can improve your intonation here). That will give you an idea how every note has to sound (take care especially to the Db and C, that both should be somewhat lower to fit in the chord). I’d even recommend to play the Db with the following fingering in order to help the intonation if needed (might be too much on certain flutes):
I hope I could give you some new ideas for these excerpts. Enjoy practicing and keep healthy.
Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN – Intensive Masterclasses in Vienna