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Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems (Read 11326 times)

Offline wilmerguido

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Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
« on: March 03, 2011, 02:13:46 PM »
I just started this piece a few days ago, and I'm using the urtext version of this site. So... are you supposed to follow the fingerings exactly although it feels awkward, or are you allowed to make changes so it feels less awkward playing it? I'm in the midst of reading the 2nd page. I didn't find the 1st page that complicated although i have a bit of problem with bars 6-7 where 6 ends with the fingerings 5-4, and bar 7 starts with the finger 5 again so... i'm forced to cut the legato... I have the option to change it to finger 3, but I'm not really sure if this is wise. There are similar problems all through out the piece where you're forced to cut the legato by playing a 5 after a 4... are you guys getting what i mean? Also... i have a problem with bars 21-22. The last four notes of bar 21 uses the fingering: 5-3-5-4 then  bar 22 starts with a 3-2 chord... I plan to change it to 5-2-3-1, then start the 22nd bar with the 3-2 chord. By doing thing, i'd have to put my 3rd and 2nd finger over my thumb. I find this more convenient than using 5-3-5-4 then 3-2. Should I change it? or should i just practice the more awkward fingering?

piano sheet music of Etude


Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 04:52:05 PM »
Don’t follow any set of fingerings as though it’s set in stone.  There are numerous editions of Chopin’s etudes with significantly different fingering suggestions; some of them are now in the public domain, so I recommend comparing among as many different editions as you can.

In this case, some editors try to use 4 and 5 as much as possible for the chromatic line.  Others will employ 3 wherever feasible; this may give a bit of relief to 4 and 5, but sometimes makes for a more awkward stretch on the chords of the primary beat.  In any event, the slight differences in the conformation of our hands and fingers mean that no set of fingerings will be comfortable for everyone.

You shouldn’t use fingerings that are any more awkward than necessary, but all the sensible alternatives aren’t likely to occur to you unless you consult among the recommendations of professional editors whom you trust.  My favorite edition on the basis of sound and comfortable fingerings for me (and my own study score) is that of Arthur Friedheim published by G. Schirmer.  For the problem you mention with bars 21 and 22, Friedheim gives 5353 2424 (i.e., the dyad at the start of bar 22 is played with 1 and 2).

Edit:  The Friedheim edition is apparently now out of copyright, and was uploaded to IMSLP a few months ago.  Enjoy!
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Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 04:59:54 PM »
Try to play this etude without feeling awkward! It will feel bad whatever you do...

Offline ladypianist

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 05:56:53 PM »
Hello: This is certainly one of Chopins most vexing etudes.  So many young students believe they will never get thru it.  I tell you now , stick with it and you will. Before going about and doing a lot of finger changes, do you know why Chopin wrote this etude? What was he trying to teach you? When one of my students would begin a new chopin etude I would always ask them to do some research on the etude.

The etude was written by Chopin in 1829 - even though it was not published till 1833. He was 19 when he composed it. The chief purpose of it is to strengthen the weak fingers of the right hand.  The chromatic runs must always be played   sempre legato  while the chords are staccato .

If you keep that in mind the fingering would make more sense to you.

As a small note.  When performing the whole opus 10 in public, even Sviatoslav Richter would once in awhile skip this etude. Take your time, grow slowly , let the body do its work on the muscles of the fingers of the right hand.  Good luck .

Lady Pianist
After a lifetime of learning, there is still more that I do not know , than I know.

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 07:10:20 PM »
So many young students believe they will never get thru it.  I tell you now , stick with it and you will. Before going about and doing a lot of finger changes ....

Unfortunately, one doesn't "get thru it" by willpower alone or by researching the back story.  Even if we don't always keep the fingering choices we originally make, good fingering is everything.  Surely Chopin himself recognized that when he wrote, "le tout c'est de savoir bien employer les doigts, c'est de savoir bien doigter."

The chromatic runs must always be played   sempre legato  while the chords are staccato .

If you keep that in mind the fingering would make more sense to you.

Which is "the fingering" that would make more sense to the original poster?  You imply that there is only one possible fingering (or, at least, one orthodox fingering); in fact there are choices to be made at many junctures, as a comparison among various standard editions readily reveals.
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Offline ladypianist

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 07:24:46 PM »
Hello Steve: I think perhaps you mis understood my post, or my poor use of english was not clear. I do not say to not make finger changes. What I meant was that before you do, try and understand the piece first. I also meant that if you have a good understanding of what chopin was trying to teach then understanding the fingering would be easier and thus any changes you where to make would come from a position of understanding rather than kind of a guess. 

Thank you for pointing out my unclear post . 

Lady Pianist
After a lifetime of learning, there is still more that I do not know , than I know.

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 07:33:45 PM »
Your further explanation is appreciated.  Thanks for revisiting the topic to clarify!
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline psylocke24

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 02:40:36 AM »
Well if you are in a lesson try asking your tutor about it, if it feels awkward then choose the alternative one which is more comfy for you. Actually I am a beginner too and also having a hard time learning about fingering.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 09:56:21 AM »
Well, as I said before (But now I develop it a bit!)

This etude is probably the most uncomfortable he wrote. It's really not optimal hand position. So it will feel uncomfortable for a looong time. As long as it doesn't hurt, it's, in a way, part of the etude.
Playing chromatic scales with 345 would be uncomfortable, even if you didn't do the chords with 1 and 2...

But do that anyway: play only the chromatic scale, with the fingering you use, without the chords.

Offline john11inc

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 12:27:29 PM »
This etude takes a long time to come together, and requires a lot of practice, but it's actually not nearly as insurmountable as some people might have you believe.  It simply requires dedication, but becomes much easier over time, as opposed to some of the other "hard" Chopin etudes, where the real difficulty comes in the final steps of polishing.  Regarding fingering, it depends on why you are playing it.  If you are playing it as a study to improve your technique, then you should use the original fingering.  If you are playing it because you wish to perform it or simply enjoy the piece, then use whatever fingering suits you, assuming that an alternate fingering is coalescent with your ideal interpretation of the piece.  The chromatic figures are meant to be played legato, whereas the chordal progression is meant to be played staccato; if you can do this using an occasional 5-4-3 then there's no reason not to, but if using such a fingering ruins your interpretation, then it's really up to you as far as whether it's worth the effort.
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Offline le_poete_mourant

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 08:01:48 AM »
Depending on the size of your hand, in a lot of places it helps to take some of the notes that are written for the right hand with the left hand instead. That frees up more fingers in your right hand and should make it more comfortable. You have to experiment with this a little bit. I have some very good fingerings, but it may not work for everyone.

Now, for measure 6 & 7... On the fourth beat of measure 6, take that C-E third with the left hand. That will free up your right hand to play 1254. I think in the beginning of measure 7, using the 3rd finger is the best option, as long as you can manage. Passing the 5th finger under the 4th is I think a lot trickier. Again, in m. 21 I think the guiding principle should be what makes the most musical sense. Sometimes you have to do  something a little bit more challenging to achieve the best sound out of the instrument. I think the fingering suggested makes a lot of sense.
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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 07:39:39 AM »
This etude takes a long time to come together, and requires a lot of practice, but it's actually not nearly as insurmountable as some people might have you believe.  It simply requires dedication, but becomes much easier over time, as opposed to some of the other "hard" Chopin etudes, where the real difficulty comes in the final steps of polishing.  Regarding fingering, it depends on why you are playing it.  If you are playing it as a study to improve your technique, then you should use the original fingering.  If you are playing it because you wish to perform it or simply enjoy the piece, then use whatever fingering suits you, assuming that an alternate fingering is coalescent with your ideal interpretation of the piece.  The chromatic figures are meant to be played legato, whereas the chordal progression is meant to be played staccato; if you can do this using an occasional 5-4-3 then there's no reason not to, but if using such a fingering ruins your interpretation, then it's really up to you as far as whether it's worth the effort.

I'd second that!
I use Chopin's fingering. But I wonder why he writes different fingerings in M. 15 and 42 for the exact same passage.

Offline zeusje

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 10:43:48 PM »
Interesting observation, I also play this etude, now almost daily, and did not notice this yet. I have the repeating sections memorized so I don't look at the score anymore for them.

The only reason why the two sections you mention could have different fingerings may be perhaps because the dynamics are marked a little different And the first chord of bar 16 and 43 is not the same, the one in bar 43 misses a note, but that would be quite a puzzle to start guessing why it misses that note, and if that note being there or not has influence for the change of fingering 2 half bars earlier.

One thing that helps me with this etude is memorizing. When I memorized the first two pages, I can study more focussed. Now still two pages to memorize, which has a lot of notes in common with the first two pages.

When I started playing this etude I also found the fingering awkward, but I also read that chopin's is already well thought of by chopin himself, so I started to memorize using chopin's fingering, and gradually I feel more comfortable with it. Ok I cannot play it on 144 yet, but I feel comfortable for a large part of the piece on about 100 with the metronome. Yet I already play it for 5 months now, so it takes time.... And I am not there yet.... In the meantime I try to enjoy studying it.


studying:

Beethoven sonata no. 1 op. 2
Bach Prelude and Fugue in g-major, WTCII
Schumann fantasie stucke op.12 (no. 1,2)

Offline iratior

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 07:37:02 PM »
Sometimes I can do this etude without getting hopelessly fatigued, and sometimes I can't.  I think it is giving the pianist a lot of homework to do.  The harmony should be carefully analyzed note by note.  See what it means in different keys.  A transposition to C-minor is particularly hard -- which means there's probably something very rewarding in working on it.  I am suspicious of fingerings that depend for their success a lot on the key the piece is in.  Better to have the fingerings based primarily on the rhythm and accentuation.  Making sure the left hand is absolutely relaxed does cut down on fatigue.  If you're just in it for the musicality, I see nothing terribly wrong with "cheating", and playing with the left hand some of what was written for the right.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 07:53:50 PM »
Sometimes I can do this etude without getting hopelessly fatigued, and sometimes I can't.  I think it is giving the pianist a lot of homework to do.  The harmony should be carefully analyzed note by note.  See what it means in different keys.  A transposition to C-minor is particularly hard -- which means there's probably something very rewarding in working on it.  I am suspicious of fingerings that depend for their success a lot on the key the piece is in.  Better to have the fingerings based primarily on the rhythm and accentuation. 

But that's exactly why different keys often require different fingerings- because certain fingerings are more inclined to cause unwanted accents in some keys than others. To assume accentuation is caused by fingering in a way that is independent of the layout of the keybed is to assume truly superhuman control. The whole purpose of key based fingering is to make for MORE equality (compared to if you struggle through a different layout of whites and blacks in a single fingering)- not less! Personally I use one fingering for virtually the entire study- based specifically on the layout of the keyboard. It's a very simple premise- 4 for black keys and 5 for whites. Take a third finger when you're next to a pair of adjacent white keys. This works for virtually all continuous chromatic lines. The same fingering is very good for legato octaves.

Offline iratior

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 09:51:57 PM »
To be sure, the layout of the keybed does have to influence fingering, and if a certain fingering doesn't work well in some keys, it has to be adapted to one that does.  All I am saying is that I would concentrate primarily on satisfying the demands of the rhythm and accentuation, and the constraints imposed by the keybed would be dealt with secondarily.  If the keybed is found not to impose any great constraints, the reward of such generalized fingering is that it's much easier to do transpositions, and much easier to memorize pieces because how they sound can be much more related to how it feels to play them.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 12:31:57 AM »
To be sure, the layout of the keybed does have to influence fingering, and if a certain fingering doesn't work well in some keys, it has to be adapted to one that does.  All I am saying is that I would concentrate primarily on satisfying the demands of the rhythm and accentuation, and the constraints imposed by the keybed would be dealt with secondarily.  If the keybed is found not to impose any great constraints, the reward of such generalized fingering is that it's much easier to do transpositions, and much easier to memorize pieces because how they sound can be much more related to how it feels to play them.

I can see how it could sometimes work, in theory- but what happens when you transpose a piece to a flat key? Do you finger it with the thumb entirely black keys- solely for the sake of keeping the same fingering? Conversely, would you finger pieces in flat keys with the thumb in odd places just to make them easier to transpose into simpler keys? Surely the execution in the regular key has to take full priority at all times? It's an interesting idea, but I'm very skeptical as to how far it should or could be taken. Sometimes there's good reason for less standard fingerings- but I'd only ever judge from how effectively it serves the original key. If that happened to aid transposition that would be a bonus, but I'd never make adaptations specifically for that purpose.

I don't follow what you mean by: "I would concentrate primarily on satisfying the demands of the rhythm and accentuation, and the constraints imposed by the keybed would be dealt with secondarily". If you don't primarily fit your fingering to the layout of the keyboard- how on earth can you control the accents? I don't see how these can be spoken of as if separate issues. Trying to persist with a similar fingering strikes me as the very thing that would most screw up control over accents. Key-based fingering is designed to equalise control in different keys. Even Volodos probably couldn't control pieces in flat keys with C major fingerings, as well as he could if they were actually in C. Adaptation is essential- if you want the result to sound similar.

Offline nearenough

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 01:32:08 AM »
I am an amateur playing this "thing" for 60 years and still can't play it well. The hardest part is the lower half of page 2 where you have to jump and play an octave and a third with the right hand abandoning any try at legato, and also the second downward run on the top of the third page where its either 5-5-4 or 5-4-3. (Writing from memory here).
I suspect some pianists can play it and others just cannot. Ashkenazy played all of them in a row (I heard him live). I have Richter in Prague or Hungary on a CD playing Etudes 1-2-3 live and splendidly. Ingolf Wunder and Freddy Kempff do it fantastically on their sites. Rubinstein never recorded all the etudes and neither did Horowitz and I suspect this was one of the stumbling blocks. Chopin "glided" over the keys like magic -- he played a, Pleyel!, which had a light touch (according to Zamoyski's recent reissued biography.)
So I think a sense of relaxation and not dwelling on the thirds in the R hand is probably they mental key here.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 02:27:47 PM »
So I think a sense of relaxation and not dwelling on the thirds in the R hand is probably they mental key here.

While relaxation is important, the real key is know how to both achieve it and maintain it. To say that relaxation is the key (either to this piece or to piano playing in general) is a bit like saying that the key to a marathon is for your legs not to get too tired on the way. Personally I cheat on the F A flat F by leaving out the thumb F (although it's only that particular chord where I deliberately omit any notes). Non-legato in the top is just way too audible.

Offline iratior

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #19 on: May 09, 2011, 11:19:17 AM »
I was practicing this etude recently and discovered something interesting:  on the last beat of the first measure for the right hand, it felt better to put the thumb on the F and the second finger on the D!  Somehow, it undid some of the accumulating tension.  Of course, I do have very elastic hands, and can play an octave without using my thumb.  I see that ladypianist made comments on learning this etude.  Please come back, ladypianist, we miss you!

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #20 on: May 09, 2011, 12:20:39 PM »
I see that ladypianist made comments on learning this etude.  Please come back, ladypianist, we miss you!
Since you probably missed the whole thing with ladypianist, I tell you what happened!
First, a 12 year old girl, Becky, joined the forum. She had a very mature way of writing, and seemed to be very experienced. She also posted some of the best recordings here.
Then, a guy name Roger also joined. He was like 76, and some sort of veteran. He'd only played for a short time (if I remember it right) but posted a very good recording of the pathetique sonata, first mov.
The, finaly, LP joined. She was an old concert pianist, and winner or some major piano competitions. She posted also some of the best recordings.

bla bla bla... some ppl thought it might be the same person... bla bla bla... Someone then found a link of some guy's playing. He played it the exact same way as Becky did, even with the same mistake. One thing lead to an other, and it was dicovered that they were all the same person.

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #21 on: May 09, 2011, 12:26:44 PM »
I see that ladypianist made comments on learning this etude.  Please come back, ladypianist, we miss you!

I haven't read any replies to the original post except hers . . . I'm afraid her way of thinking about this piece is a little misleading, if not dangerous.  The étude requires freedom, balance, coordination, and phrasing, but not "muscles." 

To the original poster: the fingering provided is largely fine - it is your wrist and hands that will have to find the right position to make it work.

Don't get me wrong, this étude takes an enormous amount of time to master, but it is not because op. 10 no. 2 muscles are growing.

Offline iratior

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #22 on: May 09, 2011, 05:38:43 PM »
"Ladypianist" an impostor?  I'll be damned.

Offline pianowolfi

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Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #24 on: May 11, 2011, 01:58:40 PM »
I haven't read any replies to the original post except hers . . . I'm afraid her way of thinking about this piece is a little misleading, if not dangerous.  The étude requires freedom, balance, coordination, and phrasing, but not "muscles."  

Why? I've been practising a lot recently and acquired a massive chunk of muscle down the side of my 5th. It used to be vastly less developed on my right than my left. Changing the way I move my previously very weak 5th has made extremely visible differences to the muscles. It would be an inaccurate polarisation to say it's all about strength (particularly as I had to make drastic changes to how I move to develop that added strength). But I think you can say the same of assuming it has zero to do with strength. Strength and flexibility are not exclusive qualities from each other. Good weightlifters ought to be flexible as well as strong.

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #25 on: May 11, 2011, 06:06:12 PM »
Why? I've been practising a lot recently and acquired a massive chunk of muscle down the side of my 5th. It used to be vastly less developed on my right than my left. Changing the way I move my previously very weak 5th has made extremely visible differences to the muscles. It would be an inaccurate polarisation to say it's all about strength (particularly as I had to make drastic changes to how I move to develop that added strength). But I think you can say the same of assuming it has zero to do with strength. Strength and flexibility are not exclusive qualities from each other. Good weightlifters ought to be flexible as well as strong.

Sorry, perhaps I was sloppy in my wording.  As pianists, we all ought to have a couple of basic muscles developed in the hand -- the ones that support the fifth finger, and the "Chopin" muscle near the thumb.  These facilitate the basic support that needs to be in place.  I suppose I took it for granted that most people have these developed to the necessary extent before they get anywhere near a Chopin étude, which is why I said that it is largely to do with coordination.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #26 on: May 11, 2011, 06:32:57 PM »
I suppose I took it for granted that most people have these developed to the necessary extent before they get anywhere near a Chopin étude, which is why I said that it is largely to do with coordination.

I can see an argument for that to an extent. However- what could possibly put the same demands on 3 4 and 5 as this study, to prepare them? There's nothing else I know of that comes close. You might well set a lot of the foundations but I doubt if many people will start this study having acquired everything they need. I think physical development is a very notable part of this particular etude- even for a hand that is already very well developed. If thinking that way gives someone the impression that stress and exertion are good then they might be better off not consciously thinking about it, but I'm quite sure that developing more muscular power is going to be a notable part of it for most.

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #27 on: May 11, 2011, 06:42:46 PM »
I can see an argument for that to an extent. However- what could possibly put the same demands on 3 4 and 5 as this study? There's nothing else I know of that comes close. I think physical development is a very notable part of this particular etude- even for a hand that is already very well developed. If thinking that way gives someone the impression of brute force then they might be better off not consciously thinking about it, but I'm quite sure it's going to be a notable part of it. I

No one said it wasn't beneficial for those fingers!  It's just a question of how those fingers are "strengthened."  I think that what the étude does is to explore new possibilities of balance and touch within the hand, in order to maintain a light but legato sound.  No matter how strong someone's hand muscles are, these are not what sustain the sound and the étude.

I suppose what I am wary of is the use of the word "strength" in piano playing.  It is easily misinterpreted, and needs a lot of explanation, which is why I choose to use other terms to describe the needs of this étude.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #28 on: May 11, 2011, 06:46:12 PM »
No one said it wasn't beneficial for those fingers!  It's just a question of how those fingers are "strengthened."  I think that what the étude does is to explore new possibilities of balance and touch within the hand, in order to maintain a light but legato sound.  No matter how strong someone's hand muscles are, these are not what sustain the sound and the étude.

I suppose what I am wary of is the use of the word "strength" in piano playing.  It is easily misinterpreted, and needs a lot of explanation, which is why I choose to use other terms to describe the needs of this étude.

Sure, I see your point. However, you also get some pianists who go so far as to flop their fingers around helplessly because they are so intent on the opposite extreme. They are so intent on protecting their muscles, that they never teach their fingers to be capable of moving well. I suffered from this approach badly for a long time. I think it's good to keep a kind of middle-ground.

Offline charlystreet

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 07:32:40 PM »
I am an advanced amateur pianist myself but I find this etude impossible to play.
Many grate pianists struggle to play this etude, to play it clean, musical and fast.

Yet, I just found an absolutely amazing performance of this etude, probably one of the few best performances of this etude ever!.



The guy's name is Zura Kobakhidze - never heard of him but his absolutaly amazing!!!

Offline natalyaturetskii

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Re: Chopin Etude 10-2 Fingering problems
«Reply #30 on: October 18, 2012, 06:54:22 PM »
Cortot did a good version of the fingering, it is the one I try to use. You might want to have a look, it might be helpful.

Natalya
Bach:Prelude & Fugue in G minor, No.16
Schoenberg:Six Little Pieces
Beethoven:Piano Concerto No.5
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful.
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