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"Friend has not only provided us with a wide-ranging selection of excerpts but has also included his own suggestions and instructions. These insights set this work apart from any other collection of violin excerpts available.

"Friend's comments, which often aid musical presentation through technique, range from aspects of bow division, speed and pressure, to left-hand coordination and vibrato; there is a simple explanation of sautille for Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, for example. There are also reminders to avoid common mistakes, such as misplaced accents in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg.

"Two excerpts that could prove indispensable to the orchestral initiate are the interval markings for Shostakovich's Symphony no.5 and the detailed commentary and beat markings for Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. . . . These volumes will be welcomed as a generous helping hand for those preparing for auditions and trials. They will also be of great benefit to seasoned players who can discover new ideas from a true voice of experience."
(Shirley Turner, The Strad, August 2006)

At last! A compilation of orchestral excerpts that helps the budding violinist learn more about orchestral music than just the notes . . . Friend emphasises that students should learn to listen to the players around them, to study recordings of the works before the first rehearsal and to learn to adjust quickly to any changes around them, But his volumes are fantastic for teaching how to listen and what to listen for and how to execute certain styles under pressure.
(European String Teachers Association)

'The Orchestral Violinist' by Rodney Friend
'The Orchestral Violinist' (book 1), by Rodney Friend. Boosey & Hawkes

The Orchestral Violinist, Book 1
If you’re a violinist preparing for an upcoming orchestral audition, this series from Boosey & Hawkes, by internationally recognized violinist Rodney Friend, will be a welcome and invaluable resource. This book (the first in a two-book series) consists of a collection of difficult passages and excerpts from orchestral repertoire. Ranging from Classical to Romantic to 20th-century music, the concert-repertoire excerpts are taken from well-known composers’ pieces, such as Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, Strauss’ “Don Juan,” Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, to name but a few.

The true value of this book lies not in the selection of repertoire though, but rather in the editing and instruction provided by violinist Rodney Friend. Having worked as a concertmaster for twenty-five years for orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, among others, Friend brings a lifetime of valuable professional orchestral experience to the this edition. The book clearly delivers his advice through color-coded markings in areas that Friend describes as “the three most important disciplines in the art of orchestral violin playing—bowings, fingerings, and stylistic unity.”

Friend suggests that players study these excerpts with regularity, and incorporate their meaning into as broad a range of repertoire as possible. The benefit for players will be enhanced technical flexibility, greater knowledge of working solutions for blending and unifying an orchestral section, and better preparation for playing excerpts during an orchestral audition.
 (By Graham Pellettieri posted April 24, 2012)

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