Orchestral Excerpt Course

For Viola


By Carolyn Broe

This Orchestral Excerpt Course is designed as a two semester undergraduate study in four sections on how to perform orchestral works at auditions. The four sections will include: Section One: Introduction to Orchestral Excerpts, Baroque and Classical Techniques; Section Two: Early and Middle Romantic Music Literature; Section Three: Late Romantic Literature; and Section Four: 20th Century Literature. The orchestral excerpts will be both chronological and progressive from simple to complex. Emphasis will be on stylistic content, bowing, fingerings and difficult rhythms. There will be a mid-term and a finale exam given in the form of a mock audition for each semester.


Semester I

Introduction to Orchestral Excerpts

How to Audition (week one)

Recommended books:

The five volumes of Orchestral Excerpts from the Symphonic Repertoire for Viola published by International (some may be temporarily out of print due to copyright laws).

20th Century Orchestral Excerpts by Leonard Mogill

Richard Wagner Orchestral Excerpts published by International

Richard Strauss Orchestral Excerpts published by Peters

Green Bowing Book

Hand outs on major orchestral audition lists

Hand out on top orchestral excerpts asked by major orchestras

Homework assignment on bowing terms.

Quiz on bowing terms

Baroque Techniques (week two)

Detache, string crossings, uneven 5ths, and phrasing.

J.S. Bach

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, first movement

Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, first and third movements

Six Cello Suites, selected movements (student’s choice)

Classical Techniques (week three)

Spiccato vs staccato, leggiero passages, phrasing, practicing rapid 16th note passages, and upper position string crossings

Mozart Overtures- (week three)

Overture "Marriage of Figaro" key passages

Overture "Magic Flute" key passages

Mozart Symphonies - (week four and five)

No. 35 "Haffner" - Key passages (leggiero strokes, fast light detache)

No. 36 "Linz" - Allegro (fast spiccato stroke)

No. 40 "G Minor" - Key passages (string crossings, phrasing)

No. 41 "Jupiter" - Key passages (Alternating 3 & 4 Note patterns, alternating legato/spiccato)

Mozart Concertante in Eb major - (week six)

Movements one and three

Beethoven - (week seven)

Spiccato, staccato, rhythms, string crossings


No. 3 - third movement

No. 5 - second movement

Review and Midterm -(Week eight)

Mock Audition



Section Two: Early Romantic Literature (Weeks 9-16)

Beethoven Symphonies (week nine)

Chromatic scales, rapid detache, spiccato

No. 7 Key Passages

No. 8 Key Passages

No. 9 Key Passages

Beethoven Overtures (week ten)

Leonore No. 3 - Key Passages

Coriolan - Key Passages

Prometheus - Key Passages

Weber (week eleven)

Overtures "Euryanthe" - Key Passages


Arpeggione - First Movement


Overture "The Bartered Bride" Key Passages


Overture "Barber of Seville"

Overture "La Gazza Ladra

Brahms (week twelve)

Long bows, double sharps, tone production


No. 1 First Movement

No. 2 First Movement

No. 3 First Movement

No. 4 Third Movement

Academic Festival Overture- Key Passages

Haydn Variations- Key Passages


Symphony "New World"- First Movement

Carnival Overture- Key Passages

Berlioz - (week thirteen)

Symphony "Fantastique"

Overture "Roman Carnival"

Harold in Italy


Symphony No. 2 Key Passages

Polovetzian Dances from "Prince Igor"

Mendelssohn (week fourteen)

Spiccato, rapid detache with wrist, accidentals

Overture "Midsummer Night’s Dream" - Key Passages

Overture "Fingal’s Cave" - Key Passages


No. 3 "Scotch" Third Movement

No. 4 "Italian" - Key Passages

Tchaikovsky (week fifteen)


No. 4 - Second Movement

No. 5 - Third Movement

Overture to "Francesca da Rimini" - Key Passages

Capriccio Italien - First Movement

Final Exam - (Week Sixteen)

Mock Audition


Semester II

Orchestral Excerpts Course

For Viola

By Carolyn Broe

Semester I is a prerequisite to taking Semester II of the Orchestral Excerpts Course

Section Three: The Late Romantics (weeks 1-7)

Bruckner - (week one)

Symphony No. 4

Symphony No. 9 - First Movement


Les Preludes - Key Passages

Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Mahler - (week two)

Symphony No. 1 - First Movement

Symphony No. 4 - First Movement

Richard Wagner - (weeks 3-4)

Overture to Die Meistersinger - Key Passages

Overture to Rienzi - Key Passages

Overture to Lohengrin - Key Passages

Overture to Tannhauser - Key Passages

Richard Strauss - ( weeks 5-7)

Tone Poems

Don Juan - (week five)

Eine Heldenleiben - (week six)

Don Quixote- (week seven)

Review and Midterm - (week eight)

Mock Audition



Section Four: Twentieth Century Literature - (weeks 9-16)

Barber - (week nine)

Overture for the School for Scandal -Key Passages


Overture to Candide - Key Passages

Copland (week ten)

Rodeo Ballet Suite - Hoedown


Nocturnes - First Movement

Iberia - Solo and Soli Passages

De Falla - (week eleven)

The Three Cornered Hat


Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1

Hindemith - (week twelve)

Trauer Musik

Prokofieff - (week thirteen)

Symphony No. 5 - Fourth Movement

Classical Symphony - First Movement

Ravel - (week fourteen)

Daphnis and Chloe, Suite II - Key Passages, solo


Symphony No. 5 Soli viola passage

Stravinsky - (week fifteen)


Le Sacre du Printemps

Vaughan Williams

Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis

Final Exam - (week sixteen) Mock Audition


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Allan M. Lee - www.viola.com