Etudes 101 - The Kreutzer Sessions: No 7

Gwendolyn Masin, Matthew Jones

Gwendolyn Masin Laughing 2

During the spring/summer season 2021 of Etudes 101, Gwendolyn embarks on first of three 12-week cycles through Rodolphe Kreutzer's Etudes. Visiting each etude in chronological order, Gwendolyn invites one of The Exhale faculty's violinists (or violists) to join for a lively exploration of one etude a week. Reference to the order of the etudes (these differ amongst the myriad editions in circulation) is made by way of the first edition. Publisher info: Paris: Cherubini, Mehul, Kreutzer, Rode, Isouard, Boieldieu, n.d.(1805). This can be found, for example, on IMSLP.

This week:

19th May: No 7

This week her guest is Matthew Jones, discussing and demonstrating Kreutzer No. 7. Matthew Jones writes: ‘The ultimate exercise for the elbows!! Traditionally used as a martelé etude, this is indeed useful for developing that stroke, but has so many more potential benefits. On examining the optimum elbow height for each string, minimising the distance between the strings, looking at left-hand finger angle and its relationship to solid intonation, bilateral transfer connecting the two arms, testing the stability of your posture... the list is (almost) endless...’

Past weeks:

12th May: No 6

This week her guest is Lis Perry, discussing and demonstrating Kreutzer No. 6. Lis Perry writes: ‘I will be using Kreutzer student Massart's approach to focus on martelé and other important bow strokes in this delightful etude. I will also offer some insights into ways of practising and achieving maximum results.’

5th May: No 5

This week her guest is Peter Sheppard Skærved, discussing and demonstrating Kreutzer No. 5. Peter Sheppard Skærved writes: ‘Kreutzer’s caprices offer a window the excitement of listening and performing in the ‘Revolutionary Age’. The various ‘combination bowings’ and articulations reflect the scintillating turns of phrases, intellectual fireworks and stylings of the great salonistes of the age – Stephanie de Genlis, Germaine de Staël, Élisabeth Vigée-le Brun, and of course Viotti. These variations are not exercises, but are there to exercise the mind, imagination, technique and hearing. So, lets explore them, violin and bow in hand!’

Future weeks:

26th May: No 8

This week her guest is Matthew Jones, discussing and demonstrating Kreutzer No. 8. Matthew Jones writes: ‘Even without the ‘added complications’ of the bowing options, this is a wonderful multi-faceted etude for working on multiple string crossings in close proximity and intonation. Add the bowing types and we have a perfect pre-etude for faster movements of solo Bach and numerous other pieces of key repertoire for both violin and viola. Varying the speed can also allow analysis of string-crossing technique in all bowing types.’

Concomitant to Gwendolyn’s Scales Flow, this weekly 30-minute get-together highlights some of the violin repertoire’s best-known Exercises, Etudes and Caprices. Each week’s focus is on a new example of the staple repertoire. Gwendolyn explores ways to achieve better results from daily practice by revisiting the foundations of playing. Gwendolyn offers preliminary exercises, explanations and achievable goals, injecting meaning and impact to what is oftentimes considered the most dull and dreary moment of any practice.

These sessions are interactive. There will always be time for you to ask questions. These are all-levels sessions, suitable for intermediate and advanced players.


Wed 19. May 2021, 10:30–11:00 Recorded Class

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Our community classes are based on a system of dāna. Dāna is the practice of cultivating generosity. At The Exhale, multiple hours of learning are given each week in the form of community classes, where the price of a class is recommended but not imposed. Those who teach these community classes volunteer their time and offer the revenue generated by it to faculty members who are in financial need during this unprecedented time in our collective history. We thank you for supporting this eco-system of giving and receiving!

Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. Community classes are free to attend, with a recommended donation per person. However, please donate what you can – no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.

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