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#472146 - 04/24/05 07:16 PM yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
gordonf238 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 283
Loc: NYC
i know, i know.. you are probably just as sick of hearing about this piece as everyone else (and rightfully so).

but i did have a quick question about fingering the opening sequence. now, this version of it was fingered by rafael joseffy (i have no clue who he is), so i have scanned the last part of the first line, where the right hand begins.

i'm talking in reference to the RIGHT HAND. the 1-3-2 fingering that it start off with is fine. what bugs me though, is the 3-1-3-2 and 1-(2)-4-5, of the last two segments that follows.

i mean, why 3-1-3-2 when you're playing the same two notes? i really tried this, but it doesn't seem to make much sense. and neither does the 1-(2)-4-5 that follows it. does anyone have any idea why these last two segments of the right hand are fingered in such a fashion, and what benefit there is to actually playing them as such? it seems much more natural to me to play the last two segments with 3-2-3-2 and 1-2-3-5 fingering.

and finally in reference to the LEFT HAND? i play it as 5-3-2-1-2-3 for both segments. i don't understand why he's changing over the 3 to 4 and vice versa. it just seems like a pointless complication.

i do ask these questions however because, obviously whoever fingered this is an expert and knows better than me. the question is. what is it that this rafael joseffy knows that i don't? is this fingering for people with small hands or chubby fingers?

thanks a lot for bearing with me!

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#472147 - 04/24/05 08:57 PM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Gordonf238,

Quite agree with your thoughts on the LH.

You might want to try other fingering than that of Rafael Joseffy.
His opening 1 is questioned - when 2 is far more comfortable as is 2 in place of 1 in the 3rd beat of the measure.
Nothing wrong with the 4th beat's 1245.

My edition by The Frederyk Chopin Institute gives the opening treble fingering
232.1245.3232.1245 which falls neatly under the fingers.

#472148 - 04/24/05 09:37 PM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH

re: benefits of that fingering... the benefit must have been that it benefitted Rafael Joseffy's hand!

I too have the Frederyk Chopin Institute edition fingered by Paderewski and find it a very natural fingering.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#472149 - 04/25/05 01:33 AM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
brenthoven Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/04
Posts: 109
Loc: Alpine, WY
One of my early piano teachers was a student of Rafael Joseffy! He demanded that I learn Chopin from the Joseffy Editions back in the early 60's. I too was confused and many times angry over what seemed such inane fingering. FINALLY, I STOPPED applying the Joseffy fingering and much to my amazemnt I could play Chopin with ease and comfort! My teacher at the time told me that Joseffy explained to him that this fingering IF applied and memorized caused for perfection in performance because the fingers did not become LAZY and sloppy in the execution of the passages. What ever?! Your fingering sounds fine to me. I use the Paderewski editions and at times the Cortet. Main point : Use what is right for your hands allowing you to make beautiful music. (My teacher at the time also told me that G. Shirmer paid Joseffy a fortune for editing the works of Chopin and the use of Joseffy's name of the publications! )

#472150 - 04/25/05 10:30 AM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
gordonf238 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 283
Loc: NYC
thanks a lot for your replies everyone. i'll try to pick up a copy of the version published by the chopin institute.

... fingers getting lazy.. pfshhh.. i don't see how that's even remotely possible in a piece like this!

#472151 - 04/25/05 10:56 AM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
C.V. Alkan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 827
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I've been working on Liszt's 14th Hungarian Rhapsodie, and one of my editions is Schirmer (edited and fingered by Jossefy). I can't tell you how many fingering changes I've had to make... His hands must have been oddly shaped.
- Zack -

#472152 - 04/25/05 11:00 AM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
Phlebas Offline

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Joseffy probably used his rh fingering because he didn't like to alternate 3-1 with 3-2 (ie did not want to use 3-2 in sequence for fast passages). That's fine, but it's a little awkward having your thumb on the first G#. Also, there might be something he wanted motion wise with the thumb on the black note forcing the hand further towards the back of the keys, and then moving to the front. Who knows?

His lh fingering is probably because with 4 on G# you're set up better for 5 on E.

In other words, both fingerings have their reasonings, but you may want to opt for something different.

I do agree with brentoven's teacher. Sometimes a complicated fingering can result in more even playing, and secure memory.

Editions like Jossefy and others can be approached as if they're recordings - that's how they interperate the pieces. It's best to keep an open mind. Don't discount the fingerings out of hand, but don't take them as if they are carved in stone either.

#472153 - 04/25/05 11:21 AM Re: yet ANOTHER question about the fantasie impromptu
Lisztiana Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 8
Loc: London, UK
I too had once a teacher who insisted that I used his fingering and none other. If I didn't he'd throw a tantrum. The problem was that his hands were gigantic (he could comfortably reach a eleventh (c to f), whereas I can - with effort - just about make it to a ninth. As a result, I found most of the romantics (Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann) and also Bach with his polyphonics unplayable, because to get these pieces up to speed, I would have to make complicated wrist movements at high speed.

I didn't stay long with this teacher and when I left, I used my own fingering again and was suddenly able to play the aforementioned composers again.

I find, as a rule, it is best to use what is comfortable for YOU, i.e. what uses least movement of the arm- and wristposition. The bigger the joint or the muscle, the more difficult is it to move it and change its position at speed.


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