July 6, 2005 at 06:00 AM · I have two questions.

1) Are the Kreutzer etudes in order of difficulty?

2)What order should the etudes be played in?

Thank you.

Replies (14)

July 6, 2005 at 02:46 PM · 1.) Yes, with some qualifications. People are different, and will find various pieces having varying difficulty.

2.) Play right through them. This will give you an enexpected array of technical problems to work on, thrown at you randomly. People tend to practice what they already do well.

September 15, 2005 at 05:47 PM · I would propose that in the Kreuter studies the order is not strictly easiest to hardest (why do you think everyone skips no 1 and goes straight to no 2?). There is a progression in type, not strictly difficulty, that can be viewed in several different ways:

Fundamental (1-14)

Trill (15-22, 40)

Elaboration (23-31)

Polyphonic (32-42)

Within each of these sections I would say that there is one that is a starting point. In the Fundament studies, you guessed it, no 2 is the logical starting point, complimented by the addition of all 1-10 over time.

For the trill studies I would suggest 17, then 22, THEN 15 (we tend to pick 15 because it is first).

And in the section I called Elaboration start with 25 (then add 24) for octaves, and leave 23 for a little later (one of the most difficult in the book), and 31 is one of the most difficult in this section.

For the polyphonic section where we find some beautiful double-stop etudes, no 34 will ease you into it - it seems to me more of a test of endurance, and accuracy for bow crossings of 2 strings at once, than a challenging double stop etude.

So as you can see there is more to Kreutzer than it may seem at first. Search for a recording of the Kreutzer 42 studies- there is one coming out soon, a project that I am involved in. So to begin the etudes, listening to a recording may help. A possible scenario is outlined below:

Start with 2/17/25/34

then add 1,3,8/22/24/42 or choice

then add 4,5,6,7,9,10/15/choice/choice

and continue like this.

Practice well!

September 15, 2005 at 07:15 PM · Where is Buri when we need him?

If you have a teacher, that person can give you the best guidance concerning order for your particular needs. Otherewise, the advice you have received seems reasonable.

September 15, 2005 at 07:56 PM · I've noticed that a lot of people skip the first etude, but I personally feel that it's a great piece. It really teaches how to sustain a line through many measures (an ability that MANY students are lacking.) Bow control is one of the most important abilities, but so few people realize it's importance. That etude in turn will help when you get to the massive concerti by Beethoven and Brahms, where the musical line carries through for 10 or even 20 measures at a time. The 16th note descending part right after the introductary octaves is just one line. I have heard very few recordings where the performer maintains the evenness of the 16ths and continues the line all the way to the the end of the passage. Basically, learn the first etude. It will help you with a LOT of other musical issues.

September 15, 2005 at 08:13 PM · "Where is Buri when we need him?"

I have been wondering the same thing. Actually, I'm a little concerned. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Stephen Brivati? I always enjoyed reading his posts. :(

September 15, 2005 at 08:32 PM · I think it was Oliver Steiner who wrote a good post on etudes in general. I'd hunt through the archives.

September 15, 2005 at 09:52 PM · I don't know if they are arranged in order of difficutly, but my teacher has never suggested going through the entire book in one shot. I've always skipped around, which has been fun. I agree with George, I love no. 1! It's really fun to challenge yourself to save the bow, and also crescendo at the same time!

September 15, 2005 at 10:36 PM · That reminds me - Mr Brivati is currently locked in my basement cupboard, I havent fed him his rations for this month. Hold on......

Right, he says that number 1 is the hardest, and number 2 is most valuable for bowing studies. I think he deserves pudding for that!

September 16, 2005 at 01:26 AM · Seriously, guys, is Buri still even visiting this little corner of the web? :'(

September 16, 2005 at 01:56 AM · I miss Buri, too. Prunes aside, he always had good advice. Does he have a column somewhere, like he started here?

September 16, 2005 at 05:18 PM · I searched the website, and I think Buri's most recent post was in April 2005... :-(

Should we all e-mail him and let him know how much we miss him?

September 19, 2005 at 03:14 AM · You could try. It wouldn't hurt. He's had some rough times.

September 25, 2005 at 10:41 PM · Rough times? Oh my goodness! Is he ill?! :'(

September 26, 2005 at 06:02 AM · There are a lot of reasons that 'Pa don't go here any more.

If you miss him, let him know it. He would appreciate it.

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