3

I am preparing for a timpani audition at a local symphony and one of the excerpts is listed as, "Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Mvt 4, Opening." Is there a specific length of the opening? Perhaps the interpretation is part of the audition?

My thoughts is that is the first 21 measures, but another reasonable guess would be the repeat and second ending, where in the timpani part, a 28 bar rest follows.

I have not been able to find anything online concerning a specific opening. Is there a commonly defined opening to this piece?

Thanks

5
  • Disclaimer: it's only my opinion! No, I don't think it has an opening of commonly-defined length. I've just had a look at the score and I can't see that the examiners would find out much more about you in those extra bars from measure 21 to the end-repeat: only that you can do rather longer rolls and can handle the odd triplet. The most interesting material is in the first 21, don't you think? I think that's all they want. BUT! It wouldn't hurt to practise (US: practice) up to the 2nd time bar just in case. Or at least be prepared for them to ask to hear bars 422/3 (the two bars of triplets). – Old Brixtonian May 14 '20 at 3:04
  • If you want to appear competent at an audition, you should be prepared to go beyond whatever is listed in any case. For one thing, if the jury likes your initial bit, they may ask for more. – Carl Witthoft May 14 '20 at 12:17
  • Wait, they don't give you the sheet music to practice from, but they announce the name anyway? Do they expect you to figure this out by ear or research it yourself? – Dekkadeci May 14 '20 at 14:32
  • All the music can be found on imslp. – Addison Ballif May 14 '20 at 16:09
  • Allowing they request it at your audition, it would be interesting to know which measures you wound up playing. – Aaron Jul 18 '20 at 5:31
1

(For reference, a copy of the score.)

Analytically, the first theme goes from either mm. 1 - 22 or from mm. 1 - 26, depending on whether you consider mm. 22 - 26 as part of the theme or transitional material into the second theme.

For example, one casual analysis:

In this movement, however; Beethoven introduces four themes.... The first theme is ... in the tonic, C major. The second melody or transitional theme is also forceful, played in a fortissimo, and is also brought in by the horns [m. 26].

In Timpani terms, this would make the "opening" bars 1 - 22. (One hopes they would specify "Exposition" if they wanted the entire section through the second ending.)

Also, note that Orchestral Excerpts for Timpani by Randy Max includes mm. 1 - 22.

Finally, glancing through several audition lists, the ones that specify specific measures in Beethoven 5/4 indicate "until four before A." (For example, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.) An educated guess (but can't confirm) is that A is at m. 26.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.