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Question about seemingly arbitrary fingering

Discussion in 'Technique' started by tehyoshi, May 12, 2009.

  1. tehyoshi

    tehyoshi New Member

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    So I've started to pick up Chopin's Op 10. no. 5 (Black Key Study) just recently. Been practicing it for only a week, and now I can play the first page of it so far. My question comes for the strange fingering that happens in the left hand. For example:
    [​IMG]
    This piece seems to enjoy bouncing the left hand from octaves to chords using mostly the 2nd and 5th finger. And those two chords one after another uses totally different fingering despite sharing that Gb note.
    Here's another example:
    [​IMG]
    After that lower C octave, why use fingers 2, 3, and 5 to hit that chord?

    I'm trying my best to not form any bad habits and sticking to what the sheet music says as comfortably and reasonably possible. Maybe there's some sort of flowing of the fingering I haven't quite felt and mastered yet. Excuse me if this is kind of a dumb question or that I'm just being way over myself here.
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Hmm, neither Mikuli, Henle, nor Cortot suggest those fingerings, or any specific fingerings for the left hand at all beyond such:

    [​IMG]

    That's Henle.

    [​IMG]

    That's Cortot. I don't have Mikuli scanned in, but it's not much different. Sometimes you get editors that want to micromanage your fingering, but really, editors should just put fingerings in that are problem-solving. Your edition seems to go beyond that.
     
  3. tehyoshi

    tehyoshi New Member

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    Well, if it's of any help, the edition I have is of Karl Klindworth (1830-1916), the same one I think this website uses.
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Well, that's a public domain score that's available on IMSLP, which is why it's on the site. But I noticed recently when screen-shotting the 25/7 etude from that edition that it had a great deal of excess editing in it (including ritardandos and accelerandos that Klindworth invented). Definitely don't use that one as a study score.
     
  5. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Take it from me that the Klindworth Chopin editions are the epitome of editorial rubbish. Throw it away, please!
     
  6. tehyoshi

    tehyoshi New Member

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    Don't worry, I already looked into it and has already happened. Although I'm curious as to what really makes those editions so bad.
    But I kind of don't want to go off topic now, as my question hasn't exactly been answered yet, heh. :p (Unless that was an answer already... :? )
     
  7. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Like I said before, Klindworth adds all sorts of stuff in that Chopin didn't write. Fingerings are one thing, but when you start adding dynamic markings and tempo markings that weren't put there by Chopin, that's going way too far, IMO.

    Well, the answer to your question was that you don't need to follow Klindworth's arbitrary fingerings. But in other cases, sometimes you might get to fingerings that just don't work for you. The 'proper' fingerings all depend on your hand size and shape, though, so I wouldn't take any editor's fingerings as law. They're just helpful suggestions, meant to make it easier to work out technical difficulties.
     
  8. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Not only that, Terez, but in his edition of Op. 44 (and others too I believe) he added all sorts of "inner voices" that he fancied himself to be hearing (which really were not intended by Chopin as far as anyone knows). Not only does it make playing from his edition beastly difficult due to the cluttered and tight engravings with all sorts of ridiculous held notes, but sometimes his editions bear little resemblance to urtext editions.
     
  9. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Thank you!

    All of the reasons given are why Klindworth's editions are bad. :roll:
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't know much about Chopin editions, having mostly Peters and Paderewski, but these fingerings are just plain stupid. Maybe Klindworth was a bit of an acrobat. Or maybe the engraver was half blind. You should not make too much of suggested fingerings. If they feel good to you, use them. If they don't, experiment and find your own way - whatever feels most comfortable is the best.
     
  11. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    In the left hand, I do play some top black notes with the 2th finger instead of the thumb.

    In the first chord, C Eb Gb, it's quite more comfortable using 5-3-2 instead of 4-2-1 or anything like that. but the disadvantage is that the next chord MUST be played with the thumb, so using 5-3-2 would cause unnecessary movements, though it is quite playable and demands less wrist changes than the other version.

    I would not say the same for the other chord, whose fingering is really strange.
     
  12. camaysar

    camaysar New Member

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    Hi all,

    My guess is that Klindworth wants there to be a "difference", or a sense of movement between the 2 upper G flats. So to avoid a sameness in the upper notes of the 2 chords, the finger is changed on the G flat, with the stronger thumb providing the sense of "arrival". Yes, it's a bit fussy. Some think that when notes are repeated, different fingers should be used. The other famous German edition, Scholtz, does not have it.
     
  13. shmotrezoom

    shmotrezoom New Member

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    Hi---regarding the 2nd sample--I play alot of stride, and often use 2-3-5 for the upper chord. I do this because to use the thumb would require a bit of unnecessary wrist-twisting.
     
  14. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I just looked in the Paderewski Edition. It contains only the occasional notations of Chopin's own fingerings found in his manuscripts and the first editions. Specifically in the two illustrations you posted, the Paderewski Edition shows no left-hand fingerings in those measures in question. That, therefore, leaves it to the pianist's discretion to choose fingerings that best serve the musical intent and/or afford the best fit and comfort for the individual's hand. Thus unless I found the pictured fingerings to be especially effective, I would disregard them and work out my own fingerings.

    David
     

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