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Lydia Leong

Etude books

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I'm looking for one or more additional books to pull etudes from, and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations.

I do Schradieck and Sevcik exercises now. My teacher is pulling out etudes for me to review, primarily from Kreutzer and Dont op. 35, but would like to give me etudes I haven't played before, but isn't sure what. I have not played the Rode etudes, but they don't seem to cover much that isn't better done by Kreutzer or by Dont.

Anyone got suggestions for etudes at or above the level of Dont op. 35? The ASTA repertoire list isn't helpful.

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Alard's 24 Etudes/Caprices are more interesting than the Rode. I did about half of them and enjoyed most of them quite well (my favorite being the E major one that sounds a bit like Paganini's 9th caprice).

I also did quite a few of Dancla (don't remember the title) that were not bad.

If you want some finger torture, Gavinies may not be a bad idea wink.gif

I have not done them, but there is also a de Beriot Etudes that I have that looks like it is just above the Kreutzer level.

Hope this helps!

Toscha

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Toscha: Thanks. smile.gif

Stephen: Had looked at that, and wanted something more difficult.

(My teacher loaned me a copy of Ecole Moderne this week, and said, "Make an attempt." I hadn't wanted to return to working on the Paganini Caprices. These Wieniawski ones don't look any less brutal. I want something challenging that builds technique, as opposed to committing what appears at first glance to be senseless acts of sadism upon the violinist.)

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According to my daughter, some of the Wieniawski Op. 10 etudes are not quite as brutal as they appear to be. She found many of the Gavinies to be more challenging. Although she wasn't crazy about some of the Gavinies, she did find that they were valuable in terms of isolating bowing techniques, developing right wrist flexibility, connecting double stops, etc. She is also a fan of any etudes that combine the technical development with an element of lyricism and musicality, as some of the Gavinies and Wieniawski do. Good luck with them!

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Lydia,

You may want to try Locatelli Caprices or even Saint-Lubin.

I also have a book titled 'Petres-violinschulwerk Etuden III' (violin school studies) published by Peters edition.

It contains about 60 studies by Alard, Beriot, Dancla, David, Hertel, Hubay, Jampolski, Mazas, Nardini, Rodinow, Rovelli, Saint-Lubin, Sitt, Sivori, Spohr, Thiemann, Vieuxtemps and many more.

I hope this helps.

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Solo Bach forces you to achieve a certain purity of sound that etudes do not. They also force you to listen and think carefully about the music and its harmonic structure, more so than anything else I can think of.

I tried the second etude in Ecole Moderne tonight. It turned out to be easier than it looked -- difficult (the key signature doesn't help, bleah), but playable. (I also read through the first etude, whose notes are trivial... but then you have all the bowing difficulties. Not this week, ack!)

Thanks for the suggestions thus far... keep 'em coming. smile.gif

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Lydia,

You might already know this, there is a recording of the Wieniawski Ecole Moderne by some polish chap that I don't remeber his name at the moment. It's a fantastic recording and certainly an eye opener as how theses studies should be played.

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How about this approach - pull passages from the orchestral or solo literature and practice them as etudes - kill two birds with one stone. Don't know why somebody hasn't compiled a set of orchestrally derived etudes. Yes I know there are excerpt books, but that is not the same approach as I am talking about.

How about it HKV?

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Maestro,

Ruggiero Ricci. I've got the recording on order, in fact.

Vobsession,

An hour daily.

DR. S.,

Focused technical exercises have traditionally worked a lot better for me, than literature-based practice.

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My teachr greeted me with a copy of Gavinies this week. wink.gif So now I have two books, that and L'Ecole Moderne.

The latter is proving to be fun, and a comfortable challenge (i.e., it starts out difficult at the beginning of the week, but by the end of the week feels pretty natural). I'm inclined to feel, though, that it doesn't so much *build* technique, as mandate that one use one's existing technique *correctly*, or it's impossible to play fluently at the marked tempo. (This is nonetheless makes it great exercise.)

Haven't started the Gavinies yet.

Thanks, y'all.

By the way, Vobsession... re-reading this thread... why were you curious how much I practice? smile.gif

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Yes! Do Flesch scales cover all scale needs that one need focus on? Or is there something better?

Anyway-

What about some big expert named something like Dunnis, who devised some very special studies which were meaned to bring about the best results in least time, based on causing a person to utilize his mind properly whilst practising, which he felt would solve countless problems?

Are these not great discoveries? I would be interested to know for myself if they are or aren't. I thought they were, but I havn't looked for them recently.

S.Taylor

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I stand side by side w. Dr.S. and HKV. Why do we seek "etudes" (studies), if the end goal is to have the technical facility to play the notes as they exist in living music?

For the last several weeks I have been doing actual pieces in lessons, with a new teacher, and she has found that whatever I was doing in isolation before we began to work together has really clicked when it appears in something wonderful to play. IMHO the grueling drill of the etude books almost never actually appears in real music, so what on earth do we do it for? Lydia, how are you distinguishing between "building" technique and incorporating your present level of technique in your playing? I'm the first to admit that my finger technique has never been a strength, but conversely I do know how to approach a technical problem when I have to. Is there something I could be doing better if I paid more attention to the etude books??

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No truly complete violinist in history has developed without Kreutzer. I use them because they seem to develop MUSICAL sense as well.

sTaylor, Flesch scales don't utilize the entirety of the fingerboard (e.g. play a C scale and notice how the bottom GAB is omitted). Also notice that they don't do horizontal motion. Flesch's doublestops are deficient - which I'll remedy in my "Play Violin" post.

Nowadays, people don't play the Bach Solo works (well, Chaconne) nor the Paganini Caprices (well, #24) in concert anymore because the Kreutzer grounding isn't there.

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Originally posted by Ann:

I stand side by side w. Dr.S. and HKV. Why do we seek "etudes" (studies), if the end goal is to have the technical facility to play the notes as they exist in living music?

Attempting to answer for for Lydia, perhaps it is that he or she is more of the intellectual type, and you, more intuitive.

crazy.giflaugh.gifmad.gif

HKV, I might ask you some other time, if not now, if you could supplement Flesch, or if you are complete without Flesch, or another.

And what about all the progressions starting on each different finger? Is there an end?

Although I trust you for now, If I still have these questions at a later date (which I might not have), then I might be even more desperate to know answers.

S.Taylor

[This message has been edited by staylor (edited 08-04-2000).]

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quote:

Originally posted by staylor:

Yes! Do Flesch scales cover all scale needs that one need focus on? Or is there something better?

I think as a scale system, it's the best of the published ones I've seen.

However, once you have learned the Flesch patterns, I believe that they have the problem of being rote -- there are only one or two ways to finger things, and the sequences, being scale-like, are limited. In literature, of course, this is not true.

HKV deals with this weakness through his scales in modes and so forth. I deal with it by prefering to play, instead of scales, Sevcik and Fischer "Basics" exercises, which follow either a chromatic pattern or can be done in all keys, and exercise a much wider range of patterns.

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Ann,

(Hmm. This response will be long.)

I find it much easier to drill technique in the context of an exercise or an etude. I benefit from having the multiple instances of the exact same problem (or similar problem).

I suppose there is a certain amount of "engineer" in my thinking -- I like to solve the general-case problem. Rather than struggling with a single problem in the literature -- such obstacles leave me feeling like I'm wasting my time, wreck my feeling of the flow of the passage, and create a future psychological block of anticipation of "ut-oh, this is the problem section" -- I prefer to find a pure-technique bit that deals with the problem, and then come back to the literature. This might be as straightforward as pulling out a book and spending 15 or 30 minutes drilling a particular exercise, or it might take a week or more of daily practice. But then I feel like I can tackle all such problems, and not just the one I encountered.

Also, in the course of practicing the exercise, I will hopefully have developed a practice trick or two (or figured out which existing one works for this kind of problem). I am forced to be conscious of the coordination of movements involved, as well as related mental processes; the conscious awareness of the physical helps a great deal when later analyzing similar problems.

Also, I am in a somewhat bizarre position, still. This is the beginning of month #6 since I picked up the violin again after almost a decade's hiatus. Technical fluency is returning but is not entirely there. Often, highly targeted exercises seem to trigger some sort of "recall file in storage" process in my brain, resulting in very high yield in facility gained from comparably little time spent in a focused drill.

That said: I played a TON of technique as a child. My teacher believes very strongly, and I am inclined to agree, is that what has let me pick up the instrument with relative ease after so long away from it, is that immensely strong fundamental grounding, which built sufficient conscious and unconscious connections that it will hopefully serve a lifetime. This by itself, I think, is a strong argument for, "why drill technique" -- it sustains us over the periods of time that we take breaks, and also on days when the physical or mental focus is simply not there.

I deliberately pick exercises that challenge weaknesses in particular skills that I want/need to develop. This week -- and, I fear, for some weeks into the future -- it's Thirty Gazillion Approaches to Double-Stops. I'd have to play an awful lot of literature to get the same effect!

I also find the "purity" of isolating technique to be enjoyable, even relaxing. I'm just odd this way, guess.

I don't like struggling with passages in the literature; I like them to come without a gigantic amount of difficulty, so that I can focus more quickly on the *music*, rather than struggling with the *notes*. This means trying to have the technical tools ahead of time.

I'm not sure why you feel that the technique you're learning in exercises is only rarely showing up in your literature. While I don't usually think, "Ah, I learned this in etude X", I believe that doing the reverse -- going through, say, Kreutzer and Dont op. 35, and finding passages in literature that utilize the specific techniques taught -- would be quite doable.

"Building" technique, to me, means developing strength, agility, control, coordination, and/or confidence, in a specific skill or group of skills. Conceptually, you want to get it fluent enough that it's now just *part* of your playing; you don't think "I apply technique X" but rather, you reach a new passage in literature and you simply apply the appropriate technique.

However, I am certain that this approach does not work for everyone, and some people no doubt find it mind-numbingly tedious. (I am also certain that HKV's minimalist approach does not work for me, though perhaps it works for some others.)

[This message has been edited by Lydia Leong (edited 08-04-2000).]

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I am probably way over my head here. I have only just now gotten to the point in my book titled "Introducing the Third Position". But I'll take a shot anyway. What are etudes and are there beginning etudes? Also, is there Kreutzer stuff that's at the beginners level???

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Etudes are technical exercises that lie halfway between the "pure" technical exercises like Sevcik, that essentially have no melody, and actual literature. Etudes have some musical content; some etudes are actually quite pleasant to listen to. (The Paganini Caprices are a classic example.)

Typical early etudes are Wolfhart and Kayser. There's probably some stuff in Kreutzer that's playable by a beginner. However, I would not discount the usefulness of less difficult etude books.

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