Mazas - did he copy Kreutzer or improve upon him?

Edited: October 27, 2022, 8:38 AM · Rodolphe Kreutzer 1766 – 1831
Jacques Féréol Mazas 1782 – 1849

Some of their stuff is very similar in style and content. Mazas was younger.
Mazas may have thought, "Kreutzer made a buck out of this, I think I'll knock some out too," or he may have thought, "Kreutzer did OK, but I reckon he can be improved upon in places."

What do you think?

Replies (11)

October 27, 2022, 9:00 AM · While not entirely true, the Mazas etudes (I'm primarily referencing the first book) tend to be prettier overall in my opinion compared to the Kreutzer ones. I would put a big chunk of the Kreutzer ones in the "this obviously sounds like an etude" category, while quite a number of the Mazas ones sound like actual pieces.
October 27, 2022, 9:00 AM · While not entirely true, the Mazas etudes (I'm primarily referencing the first book) tend to be prettier overall in my opinion compared to the Kreutzer ones. I would put a big chunk of the Kreutzer ones in the "this obviously sounds like an etude" category, while quite a number of the Mazas ones sound like actual pieces.
October 27, 2022, 10:00 AM · When I was 10 years old, playing Mazas 2-violin duets with my father was my first "ensemble" experience.
October 27, 2022, 10:12 AM · I'm sure there are countless etudes written by different teachers that we've never heard of, probably because they didn't do something that wasn't done better in one of the standard etude books. I imagine that most teachers create books of etudes to fill a particular need. Kreutzer's etudes seem to have a pedagogical bent, but I'm not sure that Rode was thinking about his caprices as etudes, but more as showpieces (my conjecture, anyway).

Mazas' etudes look like something in between Kreutzer and Rode, where perhaps his thinking was that he wanted the shorter overall length of Kreutzer etudes and their concentration on a single technique, but some of the more lyrical and melodious elements of Rode.

October 27, 2022, 10:35 AM · I’m not sure if Mazas copied Kreutzer but may have been inspired by him. I suspect that Kreutzer #13 was inspired by Bach ‘s prelude to the G major cello suite; perhaps Kreutzer had access to a copy of the Bach manuscript.

October 27, 2022, 11:25 AM · A note on Kreutzer #13. This should also be inspired by the Casals bowing: two slurs per measure.
October 27, 2022, 11:43 AM · #13 is obviously Bach, but I've also made a note in my copy that it's not one of the original 40 études - it was added in 1850 by a French reviser, along with #24.
October 27, 2022, 11:49 AM · I don't agree that they are similar at all.
Kreutzer had a german background and training, and his Etudes are late classical in style and in many ways a preparation for the Classical repertoire (Mozart, Schubert etc).
Mazas was trained by Baillot and very french in his writing and his erudes are early romantic and a preparation for the early romantic repertoire (like Paganini).

So I find very few stylistic similarities in their works.
And content wise they are very different as well. Kreutzer loved even rhythms, architecture and the same technique throughout.
Mazas was a lot more whimsical and romantic in that he loved varied techniques, melodies before architecture and so on.

Sure, both wrote studies with staccato, shifitings and so on. But everyone that wrote a full book of studies did that.

Kayser on the other hand did a carbon copy of Kreutzer and simplified it for pedagogical purposes (he did the same with the Paganini caprices), but not Mazas.

Edited: October 27, 2022, 8:28 PM · I always enjoyed playing the Mazas etudes. Dont and Kreutzer too. I didn't enjoy Kayser as much, or Sitt.
October 27, 2022, 11:55 PM · I'm a fan of Sitt, but they are a bit arid sometimes.
Edited: October 29, 2022, 9:12 PM · I'd put it more bluntly: Kreutzer's etudes are dull. Useful, not doubt. But dull.

Mazas's (most of them anyway) are real compositions. There are quite a few that seem more for performance than for the study of some isolated element of technique); e.g. #7, 8, 27 (Polonaise), 29.

If you check out Mazas's IMSLP page you'll find that he composed duos for all levels of difficulty, not just the ones for early students. He also wrote three trios for two violins and viola and three serious string quartets (real quartets, not "quatuors brilliants" with a virtuosic 1. violin that dominates).

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide

Stringtelligence

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

FiddlerShop

Fiddlerman.com

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Baerenreiter

String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe