Fit in 15 minutes: Reiner Wehle: Schott Music

This review was published on: November 24th 2020

Reiner Wehle
Solo clarinet

This collection of warm-ups and essential exercises has 99 patterns over 45 pages divided into 12 themes of response, intonation, finger flexibility, loosing-up (sic) articulation, legato, concentration, breath control, staccato, dynamics, scales, chromatic and special fingerings. Each theme divides the set of exercises into manageable chunks so you can choose what to focus on. For example, finger flexibility passages are designed for finger relaxation, and the exercises are split into low, middle, crossing the break, and second register change. Examples are included for both Boehm and Oehler system clarinets, but only taking into account the different F/F sharp and B/B flat fingerings.

The intonation exercises cover various intervals. They have a musical element, using the opening of a Mozart movement but played in different keys. The concentration exercises have patterns that do not follow standard scales and include more complex note combinations so that more thought and preparation is needed to execute them. Each set has a short introduction giving the aim, followed by a tempo suggestion and dynamic ranges to consider. The book is thorough and suitable for lower-intermediate upwards, although beginner pupils would suffer no harm in working on easier exercises, or by reducing the range of some patterns.

At the time of writing, many pupils are able, and willing, to devote more time to their practice. Having a wide range of ideas to make the most of this time is helping create structured routines for all. There is almost too much
to choose from here, so creating a different 15-minute warm-up each time means every practice session could feature something new.

Stephanie Reeve

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