Etudes 101 | The Kreutzer Sessions: 'The Road Home' Nos 29 & 30

Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Gwendolyn Masin


During this winter/spring season of Etudes 101, Gwendolyn Masin and Peter Sheppard Skærved continue their journey through Rodolphe Kreutzer's Etudes. In this series they will be investigating numbers 26-40.

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.

This weekly 45-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 26 studies by going to our recording page.

8th March:

No 29. G minor – ‘Appassionato’: Dramatic reverse-bowing ‘saccades’

No 30. F Major – Double-Stopping: expressive unisons and pedals

Caprice No 29 explicitly uses the dramatically-jerking ‘saccade’ technique to evoke impassionate, even bad-tempered moods and tempers. From Caprice 30 onwards, Kreutzer increasing moves to the exploration of multi-voiced writing, in this case to reveal what can be done with falling gestures drooping from plangent fingered unisons – an echo of Tartini’s much-admired writing.


Tue 8. March 2022, 12:30–13:15 Recorded Class

The time is displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

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.

Participate Free of Charge Pick your own Price