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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start by saying that this is my first post here and that I'm 17 and in my last year of high school. Now for the question at hand, which version of Pequena Czarda should I play?

I'm at a crossroads because I like both but I also don't have that much time to get it down. The version I like the best is the one played by Maria Gymrek and it's the one that made this my favorite solo ever. The other is the original version and I don't like it as much, however, it won't be as difficult to learn and it's much more realistic considering the time I have to learn it and my current skill level ( I perform it in May).

I know I can play the original but I'm not sure I'll be able to play Gymrk's version well enough to perform it. I'd like to hear outside opinions on this. Thanks!

Maria Gymrek
Original Version
 

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Well, I couldn't listen to the whole thing, seems like she takes some passages an octave up? what other edits?

For a graded recital I'd play the written version. The chances of the judges being saxophone specialists or having any prior knowledge of the piece in question is low, so they'll see that you're not playing what's written (and struggling) and mark you down.
 

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Welcome! If it’s an audition or graded performance play whatever you and your accompanist can play best. If not, play your best version. Outside of the obvious orchestration, can you point out the parts that the live player does differently versus the original? Unless I missed something, She just shortened the cadenza, which she mostly just chose to copy instead of improvise, and did some slap tonguing instead of the percussive pads on the original version.
I’m not a classical player at all, but if you auditioned for me in any style of music and played someone else’s solo instead of your own I’d congratulate and applaud you for doing the work of learning it but knock your score for not improvising.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Outside of the obvious orchestration, can you point out the parts that the live player does differently versus the original? Unless I missed something, She just shortened the cadenza, which she mostly just chose to copy instead of improvise, and did some slap tonguing instead of the percussive pads on the original version.
That's pretty much the main difference. The cadenza and she takes some stuff up the octave. Maybe I'm delusional, but the cadenza seems like the hardest part of the piece. I'll see if I can write one since I'm not at the point of improvising, but thank you for your input.
 

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I know I can play the original but I'm not sure I'll be able to play Gymrk's version well enough to perform it. I'd like to hear outside opinions on this. Thanks!
I would much rather hear a piece performed well, than endure an attempt at something beyond the player’s ability to play musically with apparent ease.

I cannot recall ever thinking “Gee, I really loved the way the musician struggled with that.”
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I couldn't listen to the whole thing, seems like she takes some passages an octave up? what other edits?

For a graded recital I'd play the written version. The chances of the judges being saxophone specialists or having any prior knowledge of the piece in question is low, so they'll see that you're not playing what's written (and struggling) and mark you down.
Now that you mention it, I think I was just glorifying the version I thought was better since she played it so well. And I didn't even think about whether the judges would know it or not. Thanks for your input.
 

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I would much rather hear a piece performed well, than endure an attempt at something beyond the player’s ability to play musically with apparent ease.

I cannot recall ever thinking “Gee, I really loved the way the musician struggled with that.”
I was thinking about that as well, better to be safe than sorry I suppose. Thanks for your thoughts on this.
 

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Maybe I'm delusional, but the cadenza seems like the hardest part of the piece.
Not a delusion at all...if you were hired as the featured soloist and were of the level a player to learn and execute all the parts written for you by the composer; shouldn’t you be of the level of player to throw down an ad lib cadenza that’s going to impress the composer, the elite poseur who commissioned it, and of course keep the distinguished guests for whom purchasing the talents of the best artists would be a lavish display of wealth and excess on the edge of their seats? Seriously though...if you can take pen to paper and write a cadenza you can work one up on the horn. I get that you’re 17 and not at that level yet, so all this is really as much globally as it is directed to you. Like I said in the first sentence of my first comment: play what you can play the best.
 

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Not a delusion at all...if you were hired as the featured soloist and were of the level a player to learn and execute all the parts written for you by the composer; shouldn’t you be of the level of player to throw down an ad lib cadenza that’s going to impress the composer, the elite poseur who commissioned it, and of course keep the distinguished guests for whom purchasing the talents of the best artists would be a lavish display of wealth and excess on the edge of their seats? Seriously though...if you can take pen to paper and write a cadenza you can work one up on the horn.
Good point, I get what you're saying. If I'm going to play it, I should be able to play all of it.
 

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Good point, I get what you're saying. If I'm going to play it, I should be able to play all of it.
Well...I don’t know what the differences are as far as expectations when evaluating an audition/ grading a performance between the jazz and classical perspectives. I definitely don’t want anything I say to shy you away from challenging yourself, but what everyone is trying to get at is that you should set realistic goals so that you can have a successful performance. You’re 17. If this were a jazz performance I’d expect you to play a strong melody in that way that high school/ level players do (like you may have never heard a recorded version before) and show at least a few signs that you have some sort of idea what you’re doing during your solos. I’m sure if you work up even a few of those cadenza ideas with just a little of your own sauce on ‘em you’ll be great. Good luck! I dare you to post a recording of the performance 🎭
 

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I agree, play the original version and nail it. There are a couple of spots where it goes higher, up to A3, but that should be OK. The high D's in Ms Gymrek's performance are nice, but not really needed.

Regarding the cadenza, seems like there are a lot of parts in common between them. I listened to both, and they sounded very much the same. If you can't find it written, why not transcribe the one from Pedro Iturralde's version.

Nice piece, have fun playing it!
 

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No-fail method of coming to a decision when faced with binary options:
1.) Flip a coin. Heads will represent one option, tails the other.
2.) If you're happy with the result, choose that.
3.) If you're unhappy with the result, choose the opposite.
 
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