45 Concert Etudes on the Themes of Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Johannes Brahms
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The composition of these etudes was influenced by Franz Strauss' pedagogical study, 17 Concert Studies for Valve-horn after themes from Beethoven. Strauss' etudes were designed as pedagogical tools to enhance his students' abilities on the horn as well as to enable greater ease in the performance of the works of Beethoven. Strauss borrows themes from Beethoven, each of which is woven into an etude designed around specific technical goals. Each etude is designed as a concert piece, rather than a repetitive technical etude. The etudes of particular interest are those Strauss has composed based on Beethoven's Second Symphony, Fifth Symphony, and Sixth Symphony. Strauss has taken challenging symphonic passages from each, creating etudes that contain the original excerpts, while pushing them far beyond the level of their inherent difficulty. Following Franz Strauss' example, this project involves the creation of 45 concert etudes that are based on themes from the works of Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Johannes Brahms. Each etude focuses on particularly demanding technical or musical challenges that horn players encounter in preparing these works for performance or audition. Each etude is composed in a manner that is stylistically coherent with the composer upon whose theme it is based. While striving to make each etude extremely challenging, each etude is composed so that it could be performed as an unaccompanied recital piece. Each etude pushes the technical envelope past the excerpt upon which it is based, whether the etude is based on articulation, dynamic control, transposition, lyricism, or pure finger technique. It is intended that achieving mastery on a particular etude will directly translate into an overall ease in performing the work upon which it is based. Furthermore, these etudes will develop technique that musically liberating than constant repetition of a particular excerpt. Therefore, these etudes are not only beneficial to those who are learning the orchestral literature from the ground up, but for those who need a new way in which to practice and to enhance their understanding of a particular excerpt.