In the matter of studies and technique, if I decided I was only going to play Kreutzer and no-one else, what would be wrong with that? What would I be missing out on?
LOL! Let me ask you a question in reply: What if I decided to eat tomatoes and only tomatoes - what would I be missing out on?
"What would I be missing out on?"
My experience with Kreutzer is that it's a pretty good overall workout. It's long on trills, arpeggiated passage work, and thirds. It doesn't have a lot of the small-shifting, finger-twisting drill that you're going to get with Schradieck and Dont. And K2 notwithstanding, it's also not really a "bowing book" although you can certainly improve every part of your playing, including bowing and tone production, with every study.
You would miss out on Rode, whose studies are much more musical.
Heifetz apparently used Kreutzer as the foundation of his daily practice and for teaching. I remember that at the conclusion of one of his famed TV workshops in the '60s he told one of his best pupils in the workshop (and at that level they were all pretty dam' good!) to go home and work on Kreutzer 4.
I think that you would go insane when you get to the middle of the book and it is all trill exercises! Seriously, though, Kreutzer is great but there is so much more amazing music out there!
I don't know why I think Jack Benny every time Kreutzer is brought up :)
I think Rode asks much more from you from a sound and phrasing standpoint, and I think it applies to repertoire a lot better, but Kreutzer is definitely very useful and should be studied thoroughly. It wouldn't hurt me to go back and work on Kreutzer very carefully.
You would miss playing lots of beautiful music. Kreutzer would undoubtedly agree with that.
Like a lot of study books: starts off well then runs out of ideas and has a lot of filler.
I went on for about 6 months working on Kreutzer and scales only. That was about as long as I could do it and i decided to start working on Mozart concertos
Normally I dislike people who start a debate and then disappear, but I'm pleased with the results of doing precisely that here. I see some replies that I like. Also I see people talking of music when I specifically talked of technique. If I want music, I have Corelli or Bach or Bartok or Beethoven to attempt. If I tried all of the 195,000 studies that have ever been written, I'd die of old age before I had a chance to play any music.
Kreutzer is the "bible" of intermediate technique. For advanced technique, you need other books.
Gordon, just curious, with a year of playing violin accomplished, what are you expecting from Kruetzer?
@Timothy, I'm expecting a compendium of technique sufficient to last me the rest of my life.
Anyone who can play all 42 Kreutzers up to tempo and in tune and with decent tone is probably a pretty good violinist. I'm sensing that Gordon feels learning all 42 Kreutzers will be a significant challenge. If so, then his "retirement plan" sounds pretty good to me.
I doubt that Kreutzer, as a teacher, would restrict his teaching to his own book. Unlike other Etude books, There is a wide range of difficulty levels in the book, and they are not in order of difficulty. Some students, and their teachers, will start the book too soon, when they can do #s 2-3.
I guess I may as well confess that I never practiced any Kreutzer. My second teacher started me on Mazas. My third teacher did no etudes with me at all, we studied repertoire and instead of etudes he wanted me to work on Dalmasso's "Esercizi giornalieri". (It seems those are no longer available.) They are like a Sevcik concentrate, starting with simple finger exercises, then going on to special exercises for the fourth finger and eventually to scales in some variations. I still find them useful. My teacher told me they were just right for amateurs who don't have hours to work on Sevcik or Flesch.
Albrecht, I'm not falling for it. hahaha ... because one time in one of these "studies" threads I concocted something like "38 Studjiken by Iron Constantan" or something and people went and tried to find it on IMSLP.
I try to go through 3-4 Kreutzer a month. Dont etudes are also very good to do.
There is enough musical material in Rode to provide a few encore pieces if required. I doubt you could say that of Kreutzer.
"heels dug in deep". Maybe. I'm rebelling against an ethos I detect.
Gordon, I totally agree with you about the ethos. When people say they've "done" Mazas, Kreutzer, Rode, Sitt, Alard, Dont (three opuses), Vole Fart, Kayser, Schradieck, Sevcik (467 opuses) and so on, not to mention Paganini and Ernst, you really wonder how much time they could have spent on each study.
“But some violinists glibly rattle off the names of a dozen composers of etudes, implying they have studied those composers' entire oeuvre, and I wonder if it's bluster, or what percentage of that effort was superfluous.”
…...When people say they've "done" Mazas, Kreutzer, Rode, Sitt, Alard, Dont (three opuses), Vole Fart, Kayser, Schradieck, Sevcik (467 opuses) and so on, not to mention Paganini and Ernst, you really wonder how much time they could have spent on each study...…….
Many teachers assign two or three etudes a week, so for a significant percentage of my childhood I was spending half my practice time on etudes and exercises. We did not do every single etude, but we did most of Kreutzer. (I had an effortless fast trill, for instance, so I think we glossed through exactly one Kreutzer trill etude and skipped all the other trill-oriented exercises. But I still did the 4th-finger trill exercise in Dont op. 35.)
In my opinion etudes should be like doctor's prescriptions, given for a certain problem and not prescribed for nonexistent problems. If one were to do all of Sevcik's exercises, theoretically you would be ready to tackle performing repertoire at the age of 102.
For Gordon Shumway & Trevor Jennings ~. (28)
I would ask that Ms. Matesky elaborate further on the reasons that Mr. Heifetz valued the Kreutzer studies as invaluable for the development of violinistic skills and expression. We might be able to get a clearer idea if you can give some examples of comments he gave after a student's performance of one or more of the etudes and the benefits to be derived from their study. Is it possibly that each etude focuses on a specific area of violin technique? I would also be interested to know if Mr. H assigned specific etudes to specific students.
Dear Bruce Berg ~. (30)
What I'd like to suggest as an alternative, occasional or otherwise, to Kreutzer etc is to work on some of Bartok's 42 Violin Duos with your teacher (if they agree). OK, so you're not going to get quite the technical workouts provided by the formal etudes, but you'll be playing real music which, being Bartok and Hungarian, is exciting in many ways and makes its own demands on your playing. My teacher introduced me to the Bartok "42" alongside Suzuki 5 and 6.
I just want to say how much I am enjoying Ms. Matesky's posts here.
Those Bartok duos are very sight reading material.
I second what Mary Ellen said.
I have heard that JH occasionally used a Kreutzer etude as an encore. I heard he was fond of No. 8 (I think that is the number) which is in E Major and in an arpeggio style. Can Elizabeth confirm that?
My Ricordi viola edition (onto which I have grafted Flesch's fingerings) puts the No 1 as No 22, so the two "son filé" studies are together.
I always found it interesting that teachers want studies to be played with "feeling" but not vibrato.
Re: "Teachers Want Studies to be played w/'feeling' but not vibrato"?? (38)
I love the Thibaud/Cortot recordings. Recent remasters have cleaned up some of the background noise. They're perfectly listenable even on 78s, in my opinion.
Lydia, I agree with you. But we're educated to listen beyond the surface noise of the shellac record. Cortot was a genius of subtlety.
Many thanks to Elizabeth, Bruce (re the prescriptivity, if you'll forgive me for making up such a word) and others.
Elizabeth, you atually forgot to answer prof.Berg's direct question: did Heifetz assign specific Kreutzer etudes to the students, and if so, how did he go about that? Same question about the pieces themselves, did he assign them (which concertos, etc) or did you choose these themselves and he just taught you to play them better? To have such a living memory here among us on this forum is indeed precious. Love from Belgium (although this week I am actually in New York.)
Elisabeth, re the B double flat (Bbb) scale that Heifetz used as a test - a good one! The point of course is that Bbb is slightly flatter than A (435Hz as against 440) and, if played in tune, the Bbb scale has no resonances with any of the open strings. So woe betide you if you play an open string or any note that resonates with them! I suspect that Heifetz, in those Bbb scales tests, was listening for those resonances, and their presence would have been a clear indication that the scale was not being played in tune.
Er, Trevor, whether Bbb is lower than A depends on the path we use to derive it: Pythagorean, Meantone etc, (both of which are of interest to string players).
Re: Bbb flat Scale =435Hz!! (46)
Adrian, on whichever basis you do the calculations (except for pianos!) I think you'll find that Bbb is not the same as A, and hence notes in the key of Bbb cannot resonate with any of the open strings, assuming of course that the strings are tuned in perfect 5ths, as Heifetz would have expected of his pupils.
Trevor, I should have said "lower
On September 11, 2019 ~ Eighteen Years after September 11, 2001 ...(49)
Thank you E.M.
I am with you, Joel.
During the Heifetz Era, 9/11 might have been known better as the date that the Ford Motor Company introduced the legendary Pinto (1970), which debuted at under $2000 for a basic model. Too bad the poor little car became infamous for exploding when involved in rear-end collisions.
And, 9/11 was the day that the last Turkish siege of Vienna was broken, with the help of the Polish cavalry. I have read that that was the reason Al-Queda chose that day.
Joel, yes I read that somewhere too.
To Joel Q & Paul Deck ~. (56)
For Jean Dubuisson ~. (57)
My take on the Bbb scale is that it's akin to a trick question in that all it is asking you to do is not use open strings. I suppose it's a little more complicated than that if your Bbb on the E string is required not to cause sympathetic vibration of the A string (horrified lol).
Elizabeth, unfortunately, I am only an amateur on the violin, in NYC for professional reasons. But certainly like you mention, Belgium has a rich violin tradition and am still proud to be just a little bit part of it. My teacher of many years in my youth was the concertmaster of the Antwerp Opera. I am also a devoted follower of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, this competition is truly unique, from the very first day of the very first round of the competition the concert hall is fully packed. It is always nice to see unknowing participants of the competition coming from backstage on the stage for their first-round performance, see how pleasantly surprised they are to see the full audience, and give the best of themselves giving an unexpected concert for a full hall!
- To continue the off-topic item. Bbb as a key signature does not exist because it would have more than 7 flats. Bbb as a note does happen for things like the third of a Gb minor chord, the top note of a C diminished 7 chord ...Tuning-commas-Pythagorus, etc.; it's a math thing, it's real, already thoroughly covered in some acoustics text-books.
@Jean Dubuisson ~. (61)
Re the Bbb flat scale I played In Tune at Jascha Heifetz's Request!!! (62)