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#1944889 - 08/18/12 04:54 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: Kuanpiano]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8026
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
There's a distinction between fingerings provided to "aide the performer", and fingerings provided with a distinct musical sound in mind. There's a passage at the end of Rachmaninoff's op.39 no.8 where an arpeggio for the left hand is notated as being played with only the left thumb, suggesting a tenuto sound that's more loudly voiced.

Likewise, Liszt and his 2-4 staccato chromatic thirds are an important musical effect, not just technical.

So what do we have in this case?

Well, the fingering is provided in an etude, indicating that it may have value in reinforcing a technical aspect that Liszt is trying to teach. Or it might be a suggestion for a particularly difficult passage. If you do a bit of research, you might find out that it may not even be Liszt's fingering suggestion anyway.



The fingering is in the first edition, which, AFAIK, was not edited by anyone other than Liszt himself. If anyone has any other information about that, it would be good to know.

As I pointed out earlier, it not merely a "suggestion", because it's actually the only feasible fingering, unless there is a redistribution of the notes in a way that is definitely not indicated by the notation. And, too, the final note of the broken octave figure, the one played with the thumb, is tied so that it very naturally slots into place into what follows. Doing a redistribution and a refingering results in more complexity than playing it as written with the given fingering - more complexity doesn't seem very desirable.

I also don't think that anyone who has the chops to play the etude as a whole should find that following Liszt's instructions is an insurmountable problem.

Quote:


Bottom line is, you'll have to do some thinking and research to understand why that marking is provided there. Part of studying the score involves not just reading the score and memorizing all of the notes, dynamics, tempis and articulation, but questioning the composers intent for each. As an intelligent performer, you'll have to make judgements in order to bring about a performance that adheres the score as reflecting your own personality.


Speaking of studying the score - right before the final stretto this etude, he ups the ante on that particular figure, and writes it so that the ascending part starts an octave lower, which removes a repeated note but adds another octave of displacement - and there's no redistribution possible in playing the ascent. And then he writes in the fingering on the descent once again, as if to emphasize that is really how it is to be played.

Liszt really doesn't provide very much in the way of fingerings in this etude. Or, really, for any of the TEs. Which makes me think that the ones he did provide were of special importance in some way.

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#1944921 - 08/18/12 07:50 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i always thought Lizst's fingerings were brilliant. he always seemed to choose the correct way to play. That said, i couldn't tell you editted my editions. That little particle of sheet music is very much like Chopin's 25/12. a good fingering

he was a fine organist... the organ for some reason really teaches you how to play.

_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1945031 - 08/18/12 11:59 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: wr]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Derulux
No two people have the exact same anatomy, and what works for one may not work for another.


So there's no point in providing any fingerings, ever, because the people with eight fingers per hand are going to do it quite differently than those with just three. And of course, those who may possess thumbs really should totally ignore what Debussy had to say about his etude that, for most of us, leaves them out of the picture - I mean, what would he know about MY hand.

I am not sure how this would help the argument that you follow every fingering exactly as written. It would seem more to help the opposing viewpoint, despite its witty sarcasm. wink However, I see no reason not to provide a "suggested" fingering. I simply equally see no reason why one "must" follow it.

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Another good example: just about anyone playing Mazeppa. I see very few performances use the original 42-42 fingering indicated.

Looks to me like it's happening here:

Phew. Good thing I said "just about". wink I could not tell exactly because the camera angle wasn't great for picking out fingering, but based on wrist action you might be right. I had a few gripes with the performance itself, but the piece was still well-played.

Originally Posted By: kuanpiano
There's a distinction between fingerings provided to "aide the performer", and fingerings provided with a distinct musical sound in mind. There's a passage at the end of Rachmaninoff's op.39 no.8 where an arpeggio for the left hand is notated as being played with only the left thumb, suggesting a tenuto sound that's more loudly voiced.

Likewise, Liszt and his 2-4 staccato chromatic thirds are an important musical effect, not just technical.

So what do we have in this case?

Well, the fingering is provided in an etude, indicating that it may have value in reinforcing a technical aspect that Liszt is trying to teach. Or it might be a suggestion for a particularly difficult passage. If you do a bit of research, you might find out that it may not even be Liszt's fingering suggestion anyway.

Bottom line is, you'll have to do some thinking and research to understand why that marking is provided there. Part of studying the score involves not just reading the score and memorizing all of the notes, dynamics, tempis and articulation, but questioning the composers intent for each. As an intelligent performer, you'll have to make judgements in order to bring about a performance that adheres the score as reflecting your own personality.

Great post. Felt I needed to re-share it.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1945163 - 08/18/12 06:29 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
TheCorecase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 9
I didn't read any of the previous posts, but I don't think you should (or even need to) cheat on the fingering. The fingers written are the most suitable for this part of the piece. These are etudes, aka Studies. They were meant to challenge your natural inclinations or methods of playing the piano. You can play it however you want, no one is stopping you; but if you're interested in improving your technique and challenging yourself a little bit, you should play the piece exactly how it's written. Also, you really don't want to mix the melody with the bass (in this part the RH is playing the melody while the LH is playing bass).

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#1945193 - 08/18/12 08:25 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: apple*]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8934
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: apple*

[Liszt] was a fine organist...

I hope it will not be rude of me to correct you (one of my favourite people here), but Liszt had no training on the pedals. There are stories of incredible improvisations (yet actually it was Franck whom he most admired on the organ), but most likely Liszt used the pedal sparingly, generally as 'pedal-point', as piano-organists (to borrow a Gilbertian term) generally do.

The three major Liszt organ works are all masterpieces, but frequently Liszt seems frustrated by the lack of a sustaining pedal on the piano, and ask any organist, the pedal parts are not idiomatic at all. Sometimes -as in the 'Prelude & Fugue on BACH' (one page before the end in the Kalmus edition), the double pedal trills are simply nonsense.
_________________________
Jason

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#1945223 - 08/18/12 10:10 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 553
Loc: Japan
It has a symmetry in the present fingering and that should contribute to the smoothness if played correctly. If you cannot get the smoothness using Liszt's fingering and must use your left hand then do so. But not until you've worked at it - and it is Liszt. If you are playing Liszt you need to work up this octave span technique in exercises and then come back to the score again.
_________________________
It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing

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#1945485 - 08/19/12 12:23 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: Derulux]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 685
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Another good example: just about anyone playing Mazeppa. I see very few performances use the original 42-42 fingering indicated.


This is actually the only example I can think of where I think you should follow the fingering given. It makes it 10 times harder to play (develops technique), and it sounds different. Does it sound better? I'm not sure, but the "sounds like a horse galloping" or whatever and "sempre fortissimo con strepito" convinced me that 42-42 is indeed what you want to go for.


Edited by trigalg693 (08/19/12 12:23 PM)

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#1961919 - 09/21/12 02:43 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: Kuanpiano]
Michael Glenn Williams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 114
Loc: Southern California
It's a myth that using a particular fingering is the only way to get a particular sound. SO the idea that the composer's fingerings means they wanted a particular sound is possible, but at the end of the day that is not the only way to get the sound.

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#1961983 - 09/21/12 08:37 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: Michael Glenn Williams]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Michael Glenn Williams
It's a myth that using a particular fingering is the only way to get a particular sound. SO the idea that the composer's fingerings means they wanted a particular sound is possible, but at the end of the day that is not the only way to get the sound.
Certain fingering may not be the only way to get a certain sound, but certain fingerings may facilitate achieving something better than another fingering.

That's why I think that when the composer of some piece was an terrific pianist(as is true for the huge majority of piano music), the composer's distribution of the notes(especially this) and fingering(especially fingering designed to give a certain sound as opposed to fingering given for convenience)should be strongly considered as a first alternative. Not something I made up, but something I've heard observing master classes with excellent teachers.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/21/12 08:46 AM)

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#1962042 - 09/21/12 11:43 AM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
People not using 24 24, z.B., is somewhat irritating to see in the same way that it's somewhat irritating to see a vegetarian eating a tofu and nut hamburger.

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#1962749 - 09/22/12 07:02 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2667
Loc: Netherlands
well, do as you like, but in more difficult pieces like nr.5 or Chopin's op.10/2 it's suïcide not to follow the composer's fingerings, why not adhere to them here?
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#2016688 - 01/18/13 12:01 PM Re: Cheating on Liszt's fingerings [Re: evilpacman18]
jdott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 34
Loc: Colorado, USA
The fingering worked for Liszt because his hand span was probably about 6" greater than yours. My teacher, the wonderful Barbara Ryan-Eanes always helped me rework the fingering to suit my hand. If altering it makes it playable for you, that's all that matters.

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