The soli section of Overture to Die Meistersinger is typically in the first round of any orchestral audition. As such, we need to have a great plan to convey to the audition committee.

For me, the first step to presenting a cohesive musical product is to identify the sub-phrases that occur within the passage.

MS-1

There are three primary notes groupings: 1) the half note/dotted quarter/eighth/down beat, 2) three consecutive eighth notes and a downbeat, 3) the longer ascending quarter notes section.

I’ve added a second line with the eighth notes subdivisions below each of these patterns. You will notice that the phrasing/dynamic contract for each of these is similar

1. Half note, dotted quarter, eighth, downbeat

Each half note should relax slightly in volume, while each dotted quarter/eighth figure should slightly push into the next downbeat.

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2. Three consecutive eighth notes and a downbeat

Each of these patterns moves forward with a VERY small crescendo. Please take note of the note groups with the back-to-back boxes, and that the second grouping begins on the up-beat.

MS-subdiv-step1-2

3. Ascending quarter notes section

The last pattern we encounter is the ascending quarter note pattern. Spend a few minutes listening to your favorite recording on how the string section treats this ascending line. The light blue boxes are around the remaining notes that should be phrased.

MS-subdiv-step1-3

Now that we have a plan for every note, we can apply the nuances that the Tabuteau method adds to the phrases.

MS-Subdiv-all

The next step is to play the subdivision with the proper note inflection and musical direction. Once a convincing dynamically musical line can be attained, add the correct pitches to the subdivision while maintaining the same musical identity.

MS-13

The final step in the process is to the “tie” all the subdivisions together. The musical subdivisions and numbers should still be accounted for “in your head.” The goal of this process is to create a musical passage that has goal notes, directions, and the ability to be repeated at will.