During this autumn/winter season of Etudes 101, Gwendolyn embarks on the second of three 12-week cycles through Rodolphe Kreutzer's Etudes with her guest, Peter Sheppard Skærved.
To some, the Kreutzer Etudes are dull exercises. Not so with Peter and Gwendolyn. They have the uncanny ability to illuminate the corners of these milestone Etudes in such an exciting manner that history, performance practice and pedagogy become one unit.
Peter writes: ‘It’s a joy to return to our exploration of Kreutzer’s wonderful pieces. Working sequentially through the whole cycle offers so much. First of all, if we trust what Kreutzer is asking of us, the pieces are a window on the idealistic approach to the violin, as celebrated by the three great disciples of Giovanni Battista Viotti. Secondly, he challenges us to find the balance, the integrity, of musical and technical demands and ideals. Thirdly, the first edition, freed of the ‘improvements’ of recent editors, offers a remarkable primer for the performance practice of the generation of what might be called the ‘Revolutionary Violin’, from ‘portes-des-voix’ through to bow-distribution. Do join us as we re-embark on this adventure’!
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.
Etudes 13-16 are all about taste, elegance and grace.19th October: No 13, Moderato in A major. Explores the poise of the right hand, elegance instring crossing, whilst always singing. The voice is the heart of the violin, and the essence of virtuosity, virtue.
26th October: No 14, Allegro non troppo in B♭ major. Continues the vocal theme by introducing the challenge of decoration. This study reaches back to the grace of the French baroque, of theCouperins and Hotteterre.
2nd November: No 15, Moderato in D major. Introduces the element of drama, of powerful dynamic effects, to the decorated melody. The effect is not unlike thunder and lightning shakingthe chandeliers in a beautiful salon.
9th November: No 16, Maestoso [Moderato] in B♭ major. Extends and refines the challenge of elaboration. It is clear now, that the composer is asking that we evoke the rocaille ofVersailles, the bon ton of the drawing room.
This weekly 30-minute get-together explores ways to achieve better results from daily practice by revisiting the foundations of playing. Gwendolyn and Peter offer preliminary exercises, explanations and achievable goals, injecting meaning and impact to what is often times considered the most dull and dreary moment of any practice.
These sessions are interactive, suitable for intermediate and advanced players. There will always be time for you to ask questions.
You can find recordings of the first 12 studies by going to our recording page.
Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. This event has multiple classes.
Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.
Peter Sheppard Skaerved
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