Etudes that are fun and beautiful

July 25, 2017, 12:57 PM · I wanted to share a list of some etudes that I found particularly beautiful and/or fun to work on. I'd love to see some suggestions from other people.

De Beriot Study #14 -- excellent double stop study with very lovely chord progressions. De Beriot was really good composer. #27 is cool and fun as well -- really so many from the De Beriot book are fun to play.

Gavinies #14 is very pretty and brilliant -- all over the fingerboard -- good prep for Beethoven. So many Gavinies are first class music.

Dont #3 is a gorgeous arpeggio study. #5 is just brilliant sounding, a good performance piece. #9 is as fun as it gets for a trill study. And can't leave out #7 which might be the most useful Dont but also contains some lovely lines.

Kreutzer #38 and #39 -- would be lovely performance pieces if a little long. Gorgeous little wistful moments.

Paganini XIII and XIV. When I took on Paganini I was so surprised by how melodic and musical the Caprices are -- then found out they were developed as performance pieces for the stage long before Paganini ever wrote them down for publication. These are among the "easier" Paganini, accessible to most reasonably accomplished fiddlers. Just give them a little patience -- they give back generously!

Wieniawski Etudes-Caprices #4. Is it an etude or a lovely little recital piece? What it is, for sure, is fun to play.

Replies (16)

July 25, 2017, 2:56 PM · Dont opus 35 or 37?
July 26, 2017, 2:16 AM · Nice idea. Great to get inspiration or direction for new places to go.

I am very much beginner, and at a point i found this:

'Bach etude nr. 3'

I think its good for beginners. A sweet little melodic piece easy to play.

Now i feel comfortably working on some of Bachs cello suites transposed for violin and i think you can treat some parts of them as etudes if you like.

July 26, 2017, 6:55 AM · It's abt Dont 37
Edited: July 27, 2017, 11:12 AM · Helen, I believe it's Dont op 35. #9 has trills and #7 beautiful legato musical lines. #3 arpeggios can also be played with various bowings as Gingold suggested in this masterclasse.
July 27, 2017, 4:18 AM · I'd add the Rode Caprices to the list. Many of them are good recital pieces in their own right.
July 27, 2017, 4:23 PM · Maybe Fiorillo No. 28 to add, also not too hard in comparison to how it sounds.

Mazas Op 36/7 is fun to play if the violin is good you play on, you can bath in its sound. But its not really that great to listen too if you dont enjoy the specific violin beeing played.

Edited: July 27, 2017, 8:40 PM · I second Rode Caprices.
#20 the LH exercise has beautiful melodic lines good enough for performance:

#5 has a lot of techniques all packed in one piece:

July 28, 2017, 12:20 AM · For an easier one that's still gorgeous, I'd have to say the Mazas Op. 36 No. 18 (Romance).
I played it for a recital two years ago, and it was great for developing tone.
July 28, 2017, 4:56 AM · Thank you, Yixi. I love Rode 5 as well. Wieniawski L'école Moderne has some beautiful stuff too. It is like the Paganini Caprices in that they are good studies but could easily pass for recital pieces.
Edited: July 28, 2017, 5:28 AM · Second vote here for Fiorillo No. 28. My teacher loves that one. Some of his more talented middle-schoolers have played it. I think it's the only Fiorillo they do. I also really like Kreutzer 35 -- the Eb March.

Doesn't surprise me not to see anything by Sitt, Alard, or Dancla on this list ... or the famous "Comodo" Kayser study, which is aptly marked because it belongs in the commode.

July 28, 2017, 4:11 PM · The Etude for Associated Board Grade VII when I took it was the Gigue from the E major Partita. It SHOULD have been beautiful
Edited: July 28, 2017, 11:35 PM · Etudes can be created in various ways, such as some specific passages written by ourselves or selected from solo, chamber and/or orchestra works to address specific issues we are working on. In his The Orchestral Etude-- Book A Guide to Survival Repertoire, Stephen Shipps provided a table for such substitution. While his article was chiefly about preparing for orchestra audition, the idea behind is that you don't need Etudes to learn how to play well. In fact, you are better off to play some real music while learning techniques, if you have reached a certain level and/or you are properly guided.
July 29, 2017, 1:42 AM · Paul, I play Sitt.
July 30, 2017, 4:19 AM · But études are not meant to be "fun and beautiful"!!

I admit, a few of them have a Musical Message, though..

Heifetz wrote that if time was limited, he would warm up with scales and tricky passages from the current repertoire: no need for studies. but I imagine he must have done a fair number in his time...

Edited: July 30, 2017, 8:53 AM · Adrian has a good point, but "fun and beautiful" is in the eye of the beholder. Scales can be beautiful. Tricky passages from repertoire can be a lot of fun to work on, if they are sufficiently challenging, you have good idea what you need to learn and fix, you explore options and get timely result. Fun!
July 30, 2017, 1:10 PM · Yes, Yixi, I tell my recalcitrant students that scales are like rainbows!

Neither my students (11 to 14 yo) nor I (68 yo)have time to spend on études (this is France..) so we do basics, ornamented scales, and passages from repertoire analysed and repeated.

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