Usually advanced studies for French Horn tend to be too difficult. This is the 2nd of 3 etude books for Horn on modes scales not very usual in horn studies, as well as some extended techniques and special effects. All this in easy to play studies where difficulties are not mixed, (if the study is dificult or even very difficult in some aspects, it will be simple on others) and above and of all its always present a great rhythmic component and a lot of fun.
I also like 10 Jazzy Etudes, Matosinhos’ second collection of jazz-styled exercises, dedicated to Arkady Shilkloper. His first book of jazzy etudes, also dedicated to Arkady, was reviewed favorably in the May 2012 issue of The Horn Call, and this second volume is along similar lines, though not as technically complex. His stated purpose for this volume is to “take the jazz style idea a little farther…[using] different scales and modes with some extended techniques, but always in an easy and funny way.” Each etude has a preface, explaining the style or techniques involved. Recordings of these etudes are also available on his website.
The etudes last anywhere from 1:00 to 3:30, and I find the range of jazz-oriented styles and techniques to be quite comprehensive. Individually, the etudes are technically and musically quite challenging. As with the first volume, the etudes are really about learning to play in various jazz styles, not to learn improvisation or anything along those lines. What we are presented with is exactly as advertised—etudes that are fun to work on. My favorite was the longest, No. 5, which has Far Eastern influence, and is much more improvisatory than the others, with more multiphonics and a harmonically-interesting fast section (the “fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale (mixolydian b9 b13)). Okay, I guess his jazzy variations on the famous theme by Paganini are also pretty cool! At first look, the etudes are quite daunting, but those brave enough to wade in will have a great deal of fun with them. I look forward to getting my feet very wet.