Just a quick one-off here, as I’m quite busy with other projects. I happily subscribe to Spotify. If you don’t know what that is, you should definitely find out, quickly. And while it was mostly for personal enjoyment and exploration of music while at work, I’ve found another great use for it as a classical musician preparing for an audition.
The search function is great for typing in the name of a piece you’re expected to prepare for an audition (let’s go with Mendelssohn’s Midsummernight’s Dream, scherzo section, which is standard fare for clarinet auditions). If I were unfamiliar with this excerpt, and wanted quick access to a large sample size of recordings for my preliminary research, Spotify is perfect. If you are specific enough in your search query, it’s possible to line up a number of recordings right in a row of the same movement.
That way, I can listen to a number of them back-to-back and listen for interpretive differences, tempo differences, etc. that will help me better prepare for my audition. It may be true the Naxos can do something like this as well, but you can’t argue with the swiftness that Spotify offers. And, Spotify has access to some pretty good recordings too!
Its classical library is even getting deep enough where this might be useful for use in schools too – I searched for Eric Whitacre’s Sleep, and found at least 10 recordings. The “best” recordings may not necessarily be there, but isn’t that a subjective thing anyway?
The cool part about being a paying subscriber is that I can Star the recordings I like (or all of them!), make a playlist, and sync that playlist to my iPhone / iPad for later listening as well. Audition prep on the go!
Spotify is definitely changing the way I start to prepare for auditions – please feel free to add any info about how it’s helping you!