2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
39 members (Bentsch, Cushite, clothearednincompo, Animisha, Alex C, cliowa, Abdol, 12 invisible), 475 guests, and 499 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Which pieces require the largest handspans?
#1313386 11/27/09 02:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
S
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
In a current thread about stretching for the purpose of expanding the reach of the hands, it's been suggested that ninths are nice but there's no real need for tenths or larger.

I think the amount of repertoire in which tenths (or even larger intervals) are written—and where arpeggiation would be found objectionable, unsuitable or inappropriate—must be significant.

Is it? Or is an octave all anybody really needs, provided you have the willingness to roll or redistribute?

Steven

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
sotto voce #1313387 11/27/09 02:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
I think a solid tenth will put most repertoire within reach, no pun intended! smile On thing that I see time and time again in the scores of the music of Rachmaninoff (obviously legendary for his enormous hands) is not so many stretches greater than a tenth, but smaller stretches with inner notes near the thumb. These are easy for someone who can take an octave and a sixth with one hand, but not for most of the rest of us.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
sotto voce #1313415 11/27/09 03:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,949
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,949
Schumann Toccata requires many 10ths and some 11ths that aren't marked to be rolled (of course you still can roll them).

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Orange Soda King #1313439 11/27/09 04:32 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 28,887
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 28,887
Grainger's Blithe Bells.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
pianoloverus #1313444 11/27/09 04:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
I think spanning an octave easily is needed for playing so much of the good piano music that it might as well be deemed a requirement. It takes a specialist and a limited repertoire to get around that - not saying that isn't done, but it's a special case.

Beyond that I think things become less clear. "Tricks" become expected to some extent, whether they are good or not.

Aren't there passages that Scriabin specifically asked not be broken, that are pretty challenging to accomplish for many people?


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
david_a #1313452 11/27/09 04:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
The main one that comes to mind is Franck - Prelude Chorale and Fugue. Lots of unforgiving 10ths, and 11ths.

I always thought that the two composers that you really had to have a big stretch for were Fats Waller, and Cesar Franck.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Phlebas #1313463 11/27/09 05:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
A
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
Originally Posted by Phlebas
The main one that comes to mind is Franck - Prelude Chorale and Fugue. Lots of unforgiving 10ths, and 11ths.

Yes, having played the PC&F, I agree with you, but the Prelude, Aria & Finale is even worse with many additional 12ths thrown into the mix. I wonder if this otherwise sublime piece of music would be heard more frequently if its hand span requirements were more in line with the PC&F. (I certainly would have learned it.) Hearing the 11ths and 12ths constantly broken tends to have a wearying effect on the ear. Jorge Bolet's recording is very successful in this regard.

And any organist will tell you that Franck's organ works can be almost sadistically difficult.


Jason
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
argerichfan #1313468 11/27/09 05:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Phlebas
The main one that comes to mind is Franck - Prelude Chorale and Fugue. Lots of unforgiving 10ths, and 11ths.



And any organist will tell you that Franck's organ works can be almost sadistically difficult.


Is that because of the stretch, or some other technical demand?

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
sotto voce #1313477 11/27/09 05:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Originally Posted by sotto voce
In a current thread about stretching for the purpose of expanding the reach of the hands, it's been suggested that ninths are nice but there's no real need for tenths or larger.....

Yup, I think I was one of the suggesters. ha

But then I was able to think of at least one piece where IMO there's a 10th that you better not roll:

Chopin's 4th Ballade, the first of those ppp chords before the coda.

P.S. Scriabin is full of 9ths that you better not roll.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Orange Soda King #1313478 11/27/09 05:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Schumann Toccata requires many 10ths and some 11ths that aren't marked to be rolled (of course you still can roll them).

IMO if anything that 'proves' that the lack of an indication to roll a chord doesn't mean you don't roll the chord.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
david_a #1313479 11/27/09 05:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Originally Posted by david_a
....Aren't there passages that Scriabin specifically asked not be broken, that are pretty challenging to accomplish for many people?

Funny you should ask. smile
When I was younger, octaves were no issue. But when I got a little older, my most natural reach was a 9th, and my octaves starting being sloppy.
So I started playing Scriabin. ha

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Phlebas #1313480 11/27/09 06:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,099
Originally Posted by Phlebas
.....I always thought that the two composers that you really had to have a big stretch for were Fats Waller, and Cesar Franck.

Is this perhaps the first time that those two have been linked? smile

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Mark_C #1313485 11/27/09 06:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Phlebas #1313489 11/27/09 06:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
A
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
Originally Posted by Phlebas
Is that because of the stretch, or some other technical demand? [in Franck's organ works]

The stretches are a significant factor, though Franck's writing for keyboard can be extremely awkward, necessitating considerable time and energy in obtaining a workable fingering.


Jason
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
argerichfan #1313531 11/27/09 08:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 38
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 38
Bartok's Out of Doors Suite... all 5 movements.

Last edited by J Christina; 11/27/09 08:34 PM.
Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Mark_C #1313538 11/27/09 09:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 310
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 310
Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, Gates of Kiev
Rhapsody in Blue (original version)

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
sotto voce #1313570 11/27/09 10:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,101
W
wr Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,101
Busoni sometimes specifically forbids rolling big chords in Bach-Busoni, because he thought it messed up the faux-organ sound he was after.

Medtner's skaska, op 48, no. 1, has a recurring left hand line that starts with a tenth with an internal octave, followed by a ninth with seventh, and then an octave with a sixth. Somehow, rolling the tenth and ninth just doesn't work very well in the musical context, at least to my ear.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Amant #1313590 11/27/09 11:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
Originally Posted by Amant
Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, Gates of Kiev
Rhapsody in Blue (original version)


There's a very brief 9th stretch in Gates of Kiev. Otherwise, nothing really stretchy about those pieces.

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Mark_C #1313609 11/28/09 12:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
S
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,163
Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Schumann Toccata requires many 10ths and some 11ths that aren't marked to be rolled (of course you still can roll them).

IMO if anything that 'proves' that the lack of an indication to roll a chord doesn't mean you don't roll the chord.

I don't think so (at least in the context of this example of Schumann's Toccata), because rolling isn't really viable. The ninths and tenths there (I'm not aware of any elevenths)—generally open intervals rather than chords with inner notes—are in figures of rapidly moving sixteenth notes; the tempo is at least 96 to the quarter note.

Chopin's largest unarpeggiated chords are in mm. 186-189 of the Allegro de Concert:

[Linked Image]

In subsequent editions, arpeggio symbols are typically affixed to some of those left-hand chords.

Steven

Re: Which pieces require the largest handspans?
Phlebas #1313618 11/28/09 12:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,325
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,325
I'm working on Les Tuileries (Dispute d'enfants après jeux) from Pictures at it requires quite a bit of stretching, most of which are just out of my reach. frown They sound so terrible when I roll them! Not at all like frolicking children. The last measure of Gnomus has a chord containing a minor tenth in both hands, coming immediately at the end of a fast virtuoso passage. help

It's not the size of our hands that matter, but the size of our courage. I refuse to be scared off by those intervals! grin

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Introductions to the great composers
by Animisha - 01/19/21 02:43 AM
NAMM 2021 Keyboards & Digital Pianos
by Osho - 01/18/21 08:57 PM
Advice on Grey Market Yamahas - Melbourne, Vic
by Tim_Au - 01/18/21 08:08 PM
Faulty Anytime in Kawai GE-30 AT
by Lempriere - 01/18/21 07:39 PM
Can I sell Garritan CFX?
by Tigris90 - 01/18/21 07:27 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,373
Posts3,048,784
Members100,115
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4