From about 1995-2006 I went through a period of buying all the advanced method books I

could find in music stores in Canada and the U.S.  I would thumb through books as to whether I’d spend the money or not.  If 50% of the material worked for me I’d buy it.

The standard Rose/Klose stuff wasn’t enough. I already had several books by Rudolph Jettel,

the first which I acquired studying with Leon Russianoff.  These “modern” studies opened my

eyes to the range of possibilities available to a clarinetist.

Jettel studied at the Vienna Music Academy with Victor Polatschek (1889-1948), who also

composed a very good “contemporary” book.  Jettel was solo clarinetist with the Vienna

Philharmonic.  He composed three books of etudes (“Prelude to” and “The Accomplished Clarinetist”), “which, if worked through exactly, gives the clarinetist the proficiency to perform all tasks required of him/her, especially concerning technique and rhythm”.

Another inspirational book was written by John P. Russo, a worldwide soloist, composer and

professor. There are so many more advanced books that I can’t mention them all.

The final book that inspired me to write my own was “Sixteen Modern Etudes for Clarinet”. This is a collection of 20th century etudes for the very advanced student. I could find very little about the composer Frantisek Zitek (1908-89).  The etudes here most closely resemble mine.

They seem to be written with extremes in mind —  “What can I write that’s as hard as possible to play”.


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