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Corwin Slack

The Texas All State Etudes

May 3, 2008 at 2:23 AM

This is my third posting on the Texas All State etudes.

Two years ago they required Paganini Op 1 No 16

Last year it was an obscure deBeriot etude from a series that had to be returned to print by Schirmer.

This year it is a bit more standard but also a bit surprising.

One etude is Dont Op. 37 No. 19.

The other is Rode No. 6.

Ho humm.

But Dont Opus 37 is 24 Preparatory Etudes (for Kreutzer) not the more famous Opus 35 that we all aspire to.

I have had a copy lying around for years but I recall only casually studying one of them. They are very challenging in their way but they are mostly in first position with occasional use of 2nd and 3rd position.

No. 19 is a non-trivial study in thirds, sixths and multiple stopping. There are many Kreutzer studies easier than this.

As I look at these etudes (in the Svecenski edition anyway) there is much of merit in them. There is a strong emphasis on preparing and holding down fingers. When I look at these I realize how big the gaps were in my early training. I learned many of the concepts later but wonder how much better ingrained they would have been if I had received them earlier.

In any event it is interesting to see Texas' return to sanity (of a sort.) All State level players should be able to do these well but they will be used to audition regional orchestras and I am sure that a lot of high school teachers will use them in chair testing. Once again too many players will be distracted from where they should be focussing to "play for the test".

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