The ultimate aim of all music study, whether of solfege, Czerny études, the techniques of Eighteenth-century counterpoint, or the intricacies of sonata form, is to allow one to become a better musician. The sooner the separate parts of the study are given their place in the larger design, and the sooner this design is clearly understood and appreciated by every teacher and student of music, the more effectively this aim will be realized.
On the one hand, I know no good pieces that are solely intellectual in nature, just as I know none that cannot be better appreciated on every musical and emotional level through thoughtful study and investigation of an analytical kind. The two aspects of music are both necessary and inseparable.
…when someone asks me: “Are there special exercises for those difficult leaps and awkward positions that one hears in modern music?” My answer to the [this] question can only be to suggest that we need to become far more knowledgeable musically with regard to recent music before we worry about technic. If one hears only “difficult leaps and awkward positions” rather than musical ideas, something is in error (but it is probably not technic!).