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Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4 (Read 289 times)

Offline nightwindsonata

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Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
« on: October 20, 2021, 05:33:08 AM »
Hi all,

I have been working through the Brahms E-flat major Rhapsody, and I am rather at a loss as to how to finger this measure in the right hand. Playing it is not the problem; somehow connecting the legato melody line is. Any ideas? I have a few solutions I've been working on (145-3-125-1/2-1245, for instance), but I'm not quite satisfied with that. The easy way to do this (just playing the melody with 2s and connecting with pedal) is not ideal because of the staccato left hand. I will be asking the same question to my teacher at my next lesson, but I have so much repertoire to go through that any bit of knowledge helps.

Thanks!
Program:
Scriabin Etude Op. 8 No. 12
Bach Prelude and Fugue in A flat, WTC 1
Beethoven Sonata Op. 31 No. 3 "The Hunt"
Brahms Op. 119
Florence Price Clouds
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5

Offline lelle

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #1 on: October 20, 2021, 04:11:12 PM »
Hi all,

I have been working through the Brahms E-flat major Rhapsody, and I am rather at a loss as to how to finger this measure in the right hand. Playing it is not the problem; somehow connecting the legato melody line is. Any ideas? I have a few solutions I've been working on (145-3-125-1/2-1245, for instance), but I'm not quite satisfied with that. The easy way to do this (just playing the melody with 2s and connecting with pedal) is not ideal because of the staccato left hand. I will be asking the same question to my teacher at my next lesson, but I have so much repertoire to go through that any bit of knowledge helps.

Thanks!

I believe finger legato is the way to go, because it gives you freedom to convey the staccatos in the other voices and pedal however you want on top. I think your solution is fine, except that I would to

145-3-125-1/3-1245

instead of 1/2, for maximum legato

What was it that bothered you with your solution?

Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 10:40:43 PM »
I believe finger legato is the way to go, because it gives you freedom to convey the staccatos in the other voices and pedal however you want on top. I think your solution is fine, except that I would to

145-3-125-1/3-1245

instead of 1/2, for maximum legato

What was it that bothered you with your solution?

It's just not super comfortable  :P but I see that there isn't really an easy way out. I'll try with 1-3 though!
Program:
Scriabin Etude Op. 8 No. 12
Bach Prelude and Fugue in A flat, WTC 1
Beethoven Sonata Op. 31 No. 3 "The Hunt"
Brahms Op. 119
Florence Price Clouds
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5

Offline jimroof

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 01:40:36 AM »
I think this may be a case where anything you can do with a 6th finger could also be done with the pedal... and it would certainly NOT be the first time Brahms asked the pianist to do something 'impossible'.  The key is how it sounds.  If it SOUNDS right - it IS right.
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 09:25:27 PM »
In the example supplied by the OP, it's not impossible to play the melody legato, completely without pedal, and the rest staccato, though.

Offline jimroof

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 11:11:37 PM »
In the example supplied by the OP, it's not impossible to play the melody legato, completely without pedal, and the rest staccato, though.

That may very well be, but I sometimes find the process of insisting upon a 'proper' finger legato creates more issues than it solves, especially when substitutions have to be made that create a break in the physical continuity of a phrase.   
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 01:12:20 PM »
That may very well be, but I sometimes find the process of insisting upon a 'proper' finger legato creates more issues than it solves, especially when substitutions have to be made that create a break in the physical continuity of a phrase.

If finger substitutions create a break in the physical continuity of a phrase, I'd say you are doing something wrong. You constantly need subtitutions in Bach, Franck, Chopin etc etc, all composers who require very good legato and long lines. Assuming the goal is an as strong a legato as possible, I'd rank from easiest to hardest in achieving this

1. Legato fingering
2. Legato fingering with substitutions when needed
3. Non legato fingering with pedal to cover up the holes

Being in continuous physical contact with the instrument is in my opinion the easiest way to play legato. However, if you do finger legato poorly, no amount of pedal is going to be able to hide that your legato is lacking, even if the notes are physically bound to each other. Legato is more than just one note sounding until the next one sounds.

Offline jimroof

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #7 on: October 22, 2021, 05:45:51 PM »
If finger substitutions create a break in the physical continuity of a phrase, I'd say you are doing something wrong. You constantly need subtitutions in Bach, Franck, Chopin etc etc, all composers who require very good legato and long lines. Assuming the goal is an as strong a legato as possible, I'd rank from easiest to hardest in achieving this

1. Legato fingering
2. Legato fingering with substitutions when needed
3. Non legato fingering with pedal to cover up the holes

Being in continuous physical contact with the instrument is in my opinion the easiest way to play legato. However, if you do finger legato poorly, no amount of pedal is going to be able to hide that your legato is lacking, even if the notes are physically bound to each other. Legato is more than just one note sounding until the next one sounds.

Oh... I definitely come from the lineage of Lee Luvisi and the stress upon weight transfer as the best means to achieve a legato line.  It is definitely the first approach.  But I have seen some fingering suggestions in scores that really seem to force things to a ridiculous degree.  I have played that Rhapsody before but always from the score and it is not with me at the moment so I cannot recall exactly how I played that line.  I just know that Brahms never felt that hands with five fingers should be a limiting factor in his piano works!  So many clear phrases in his piano concertos rely so heavily upon pedaling... I figure it would be fair game for this too. 
Chopin Ballades
Chopin Scherzos 2 and 3
Mephisto Waltz 1
Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
Schumann Concerto Am
Ginastera Piano Sonata
L'isle Joyeuse
Feux d'Artifice
Prokofiev Sonata Dm

Offline brogers70

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 06:29:59 PM »
Apart from finger legato, I think that voicing the melody notes and playing the RH non-melody chords softly and very short will make the melody sound more legato, even if you cannot make a perfect finger legato work.

Offline antune

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Re: Fingering Question Brahms Rhapsody 119 No. 4
«Reply #9 on: October 26, 2021, 10:12:16 PM »
Hi all,

I have been working through the Brahms E-flat major Rhapsody, and I am rather at a loss as to how to finger this measure in the right hand. Playing it is not the problem; somehow connecting the legato melody line is. Any ideas? I have a few solutions I've been working on (145-3-125-1/2-1245, for instance), but I'm not quite satisfied with that. The easy way to do this (just playing the melody with 2s and connecting with pedal) is not ideal because of the staccato left hand. I will be asking the same question to my teacher at my next lesson, but I have so much repertoire to go through that any bit of knowledge helps.

Thanks!

Hi,

Here is how I've played this passage; 135 - 4 - 1235 - 1 - 1245
It is comfortable the highlight and connect the melody with these fingerings.

Good luck