Stretching exercises, Carl Flesch's opinion

Carl Flesch was a famous violin player and teacher who wrote "The Art of Violin Playing", three books which set out components of violin technique, provides a time - efficient sequence of music for mastering the major and minor scale material, and then in book 3 uses examples from the classical repertoire to show fingering and bowing in practice. Flesch was less interested in producing prodigies, than in enabling average talents to reach their fullest potential.

Carl Flesch 'The Art of Violin Playing' Book One

Carl Flesch had firm ideas about the value, or otherwise, of "stretching exercises":

"It is high time for us to abandon our unfruitful search for the philosopher's stone, and to realise technique, and to some extent violin playing as an art, represents the sum total of a large number of determinant factors.

To pick out a single among them is much the same as praising a single variety of pills as a cure-all for any and every illness. Both procedures belong in the realm of quackery. Exaggerated stretching exercises, in addition, are dangerous because they may strain the sinews, and thus contain the germ of permanent professional disqualification.

For the same reason I reject the finger gymnastic apparatuses so frequently advertised these days. They have the additional disadvantage that when using them the arm is never in the correct position for violin playing."

From "The Art of Violin Playing - Book One" - page 24.