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#2000616 - 12/17/12 08:35 AM Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen
ClavBoy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
Hi,

I'm just starting with Schumann "From Foreign Parts" from "Kinderszenen Op. 15" and there is some strange fingering in my scores (and others I have seen) for the right hand already in the first two bars: A finger change while the same note is depressed. That feels really strange for a beginner like me...
Is there any special reason for that fingering? An alternative fingering seems much easier:



Or is that finger change there for "educational" reasons, to practise for other pieces where it's really needed?
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

Working on:
Schumann: From Foreign Lands and Countries, op. 15; Burgmüller op. 100, Arabesque; Tchaikovsky op. 39 no. 15, Italian Song

Dreaming of:
Some Scott Joplin pieces i.e. Bethena. Still years to go for that...
Satie: Gnossienne No. 1. Maybe a bit earlier



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#2000621 - 12/17/12 08:55 AM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
That appears to be the suggested fingering for this piece in all editions. My guess is that (particularly for small hands) that would be a bit of a stretch from the second finger (on the D) to the thumb (on the A). Even if possible for some beginners, it might lead to tension.

I'm not in front of a keyboard but I'm 99% sure I would use the fingering you suggested.

P.S. I'm not sure that Schumann would have intended the final notes in the triplets to be played in the right hand at all in which case the use of that fingering would definitely be strange. But for beginners perhaps the rotation needed in the left hand to do the arpeggios would be harder than splitting it between the hands.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#2000667 - 12/17/12 11:54 AM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
I've always split the triplets between hands, in which case starting with the thumb on the first melody note doesn't work. I don't think it would ever occur to me to NOT split the triplets. It seems so much easier and involves so much less moving around in the LH to keep the bass line going.

I also think the 4-5 substitution makes perfect sense in order to keep the RH best positioned to continue the melody and top notes of each triplet. Finger substitution is something that is often taught early to organists, but many beginning pianists seem uncomfortable with the technique. For some reason, I got used to it quite early in my lessons and now find that I use it a LOT.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2000698 - 12/17/12 01:38 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
I would recommend what packa said. Play what's in the treble clef with the right hand.

Also, you don't need the 4-5 substitution if you're using the pedal. Hold the G with the pedal, and just play the F# with 5.
_________________________
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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#2000718 - 12/17/12 02:31 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: Derulux]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Also, you don't need the 4-5 substitution if you're using the pedal. Hold the G with the pedal, and just play the F# with 5.
Hmm, I would think you would smudge the harmonies going from the C# diminished to the D major if you do that.

Glad to hear the consensus is to split the triplets. I'm going to take this passage for a spin this evening and see how I would handle it.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

Kawai K3

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#2000738 - 12/17/12 03:32 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
ClavBoy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
Yea, seems I forget the left hand when constructing my "ingenious" fingering. I saw in some others scores that the last notes of the triplets should be played with the thumb of the right hand.

What about the pedal? The score shows only start of the pedal, no end. Is it meant to hold the pedal for half of the bars and release it at the beginning of each triplet?

Is there a good tutorial video for that piece (played very slowly) where the finger movements can be seen easily?
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

Working on:
Schumann: From Foreign Lands and Countries, op. 15; Burgmüller op. 100, Arabesque; Tchaikovsky op. 39 no. 15, Italian Song

Dreaming of:
Some Scott Joplin pieces i.e. Bethena. Still years to go for that...
Satie: Gnossienne No. 1. Maybe a bit earlier



Top
#2000754 - 12/17/12 04:19 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: Andy Platt]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5286
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Also, you don't need the 4-5 substitution if you're using the pedal. Hold the G with the pedal, and just play the F# with 5.
Hmm, I would think you would smudge the harmonies going from the C# diminished to the D major if you do that.

Glad to hear the consensus is to split the triplets. I'm going to take this passage for a spin this evening and see how I would handle it.

Depends on how accurate your foot is. wink
_________________________
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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#2000772 - 12/17/12 05:00 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
going back to what packa said about finger substitution ... it is indeed a very nice skill to have. there are any number of passages in bach where that's exactly the technique that's needed. And it comes up all over the place in a million different places. It IS a nice skill to have! It can seem clumsy at first (in fact it probably will seem clumsy!) but over time those substitutions will let the hand glide across the keyboard in a very nice, relaxed way. Just practice these kinds of passages slowly and over time they'll speed up as they're ready to ...

about fingering ... it's always good to try what's given in whatever edition you're using and to evaluate it. but that doesn't mean it HAS to be done that way. the fingering might in the edition might be there for any number of reasons. those reasons won't always coincide with what is most helpful for you. Some pianists have tiny hands and some can stretch like pterodactyls! ... but either way, splitting the triplets is probably the best way to handle those passages. And it's a skill (splitting a figure between two hands) that's in a lot of great repertoire.

About the pedal, try it as Schumann notated it. At the same time, the pedal is a very personal device. Some use it more. Some use it less. Schumann's conception would be, of course, influenced by the instruments and the rooms of his time. Our instruments and rooms are a little bit different. So pedal pedal technique can vary ... depending on the instrument you're playing on, the room in which you're playing and other things as well.

You might find it helpful to listen to several versions of this piece as played by concert-level artists. You can probably find recordings on Youtube. If you use Spotify, that's a nice source. Getting the sound of the piece in your ear is SO important. And hearing different pianists play the same piece can guide you in terms of what's considered appropriate in terms of style, interpretation, how to balance the hands and the lines, etc.

Hope this helps! That's a wonderful piece!

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#2001241 - 12/18/12 03:41 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
ClavBoy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
Thanks for the tips, I'm still unsure about the pedal: There's a "Ped." start instruction but no end. What does that mean? Where to release the pedal?

Edit: This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxz2UfCYtQk shows the pedalling very nicely.


Edited by ClavBoy (12/18/12 04:38 PM)
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

Working on:
Schumann: From Foreign Lands and Countries, op. 15; Burgmüller op. 100, Arabesque; Tchaikovsky op. 39 no. 15, Italian Song

Dreaming of:
Some Scott Joplin pieces i.e. Bethena. Still years to go for that...
Satie: Gnossienne No. 1. Maybe a bit earlier



Top
#2001276 - 12/18/12 04:51 PM Re: Fingering question, Schumann Kinderszenen [Re: ClavBoy]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
Composers rarely put exact pedal markings in their scores. They are sometimes added by editors, particularly in teaching editions that are aimed primarily at students, but pedaling is generally left more to the discretion of the performer. The Ped mark at the beginning of this piece, which was Schumann's only instruction in the first edition, simply means "with pedal" but still leaves the details to you. On the other hand, Palmer's version in Alfred Publishing's Schumann: An Introduction To His Piano Works suggests a much more complete realization.

To start with, try changing the pedal with every beat (i.e. with each new triplet) and see what you think. So, just after the start of the triplet (which also means a change in the main melody note) quickly raise and reapply the pedal to "clear" the previous harmony. Some folks call this "syncopated" or "legato" pedaling since it generally trails the beat by the merest fraction of a second. This connects the starting notes of the new beat with the old for a legato effect, but the quick pedal change keeps the harmonies from getting too muddled. This is what you see Horowitz doing in the video you cited.

Also note that this legato effect is only one way to use the pedal. Even in this piece, I would definitely lift the pedal at the end of each phrase in order to articulate a more definite break between the phrases than between the legato notes within a phrase.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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