Kreutzer No. 2. Friend or Foe? border=0 align=

Kreutzer No. 2. Friend or Foe?

January 25, 2022, 9:28 PM · In this blog I will take a look at the woofs and whistles of Kreutzer No. 2, an etude which is perhaps the most widely known in the repertoire.

The first question we might ask is "Why bother?" Writing in Basics, and ‘The Violin Lesson,’ Simon Fischer makes two points. The first is that in order to preserve and develop our bowing technique we need to practice a small number of key bow-strokes every day. Kreutzer No. 2 is ideal for this. The second is more of a practice suggestion to the effect that if we take a break from some music we are working on and practice Kreutzer No. 2 for 20 minutes, the improvements in performance will be substantial. Both points are, of course, absolutely true, with the caveat that one is practicing the etude properly in the first place. So let’s take a closer look at the whole situation.

One thing that has tended to be forgotten in recent years is that the Kreutzer etudes are very high-level basics. What I mean by this is that although really talented kids can eat them for breakfast from five years old onwards, lesser mortals might be better off using simpler etudes. Keep reading...

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The Week in Reviews, Op. 338: Timothy Chooi; Kelly Hall-Tompkins; William Shaub

January 25, 2022, 7:35 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Timothy Chooi performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.

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How to Stabilize a Wobbly Vibrato

January 25, 2022, 12:12 PM · How do you "anchor" something that is in constant motion? This is a fundamental question for vibrato technique, which requires a balance of motion and stability.

Every vibrato origin story is unique, but when I first learned vibrato, my teacher placed two fingers along my wrist in order to develop a wrist vibrato. That didn’t stop me from developing an arm vibrato, or as my teacher called it, an "elbow vibrato." Fortunately, I had a rather even rhythm and it was somewhat consistent. It was neither too fast nor too slow. But there was still a fundamental problem: My hand was off-balance. It lacked a cohesiveness between the fingertip and fingerboard, and as a result, every string and finger change threw things off. My axis of stability was changing constantly, and I had trouble keeping up with it. The problem demanded my attention: losing your balance is like your car having a bad tire alignment.
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Comments (1) weekend vote: Have you ever conducted, or led an ensemble or student group?

January 22, 2022, 12:14 PM · A lot of conductors have emerged from the string sections of orchestras - after all, Gustavo Dudamel played violin, as did Jaap van Zweden. And of course there are artists such as Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman who turned to conducting after having an established solo career.

Have you ever taken to the baton, or conducted from the violin? Was it a full orchestra, or a smaller ensemble? Was it a pro group, or are you a teacher who conducts student groups? Please participate in the vote by choosing the answer that feels most appropriate (recognizing that you may have several answers!) and then tell us all about it in the comments!

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