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nocturne legato fingerings #1542295
10/24/10 08:16 AM
10/24/10 08:16 AM
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vladimiroir Offline OP
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Hello guys, i played through some of the nocturnes just now and i noticed that in nocturne op 9 no 2, the fingerings that i use for the group of three chords(each group with a slur above it, indicating legato?), doesnt produce a legato effect without the pedal, though when i play it with the pedal, there's partially no difference.
In your experience, would that be technically wrong, and if i was to do that in an audition , should it be avoided?

(basically i dont use a legato fingering since it is harder to play the chords smoothly with finger 4 and 5)


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Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542313
10/24/10 08:47 AM
10/24/10 08:47 AM
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What does Mr Chopin have to say?


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542324
10/24/10 09:14 AM
10/24/10 09:14 AM
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GeorgeB Offline
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between the first note and the second chord in my edition it doesnt have a legato. In fact 1st note is staccato. Between the second and third chord you have legato markings.

Not doing finger legato is your problem, to make a really good, nice sound legato you need legato fingering as well as pedal, not just pedal. I Think the finger legato would help you.

Last edited by EtudeBasher; 10/24/10 09:26 AM.
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542330
10/24/10 09:23 AM
10/24/10 09:23 AM
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vladimiroir Offline OP
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Thank you.


currently working on:
Czerny School of Velocity Op 299
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542332
10/24/10 09:26 AM
10/24/10 09:26 AM
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GeorgeB Offline
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sorry i really didnt mean to sound patronising sorry if i did

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542339
10/24/10 09:47 AM
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vladimiroir Offline OP
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eh nooo<< thank you so much, for the reply:) really helpful<<< really appreciate it, friend,,,it doesnt sound patronising at all,<<


currently working on:
Czerny School of Velocity Op 299
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542359
10/24/10 10:43 AM
10/24/10 10:43 AM
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The question of pedal only legato vs.pedal plus finger legato is one I've asked a few times at PW. I really don't know if it's possible to achieve the same degree of legato with pedal alone(at least in some passages....I think it would depend on the particular passage to some degree). Some passages can only be played legato by using the pedal or only by using the fingers, so I'm dealing with passages where both finger and pedal can be used to achieve legato.

I think part of the confusion or possible lack of a definitive answer is a result of how students are usually taught to play legato in the beginning of their studies. I think they are often taught finger without pedal legato as the most basic meaning of legato. This would apply to much to the scale like passages in Mozart and Beethoven, for example.

The most striking example I have seen of a famous pianist using pedal only legato as opposed to the more commonly used (in this passage)finger plus pedal legato is the opening of Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor as played by Rubinstein:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WpDH5zbhIk

Notice how instead of using the 2-5 followed by 1-4 legato fingering in most editions, Rubinstein lifts his right hand high off the keys after the opening C# minor chord in the RH. Even though the phrase is marked legato and most editions show legato fingering, Rubinstein only used the pedal.

So what's the right answer in the pedal only vs. pedal plus finger legato debate...I don't know. But I'm certainly interested in hearing other poster's opinions.

(For the left hand chords in the E flat Nocturne I think it's so easy to use legato fingering that almost all good pianists would choose that approach.In the C sharp minor Waltz, I use 1-5 followed by 1-4 fingering because I find the 2-5 then 1-4 awkard.)


Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/24/10 10:47 AM.
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542360
10/24/10 10:46 AM
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i like to do both as it gives a such a nice connected sound between the notes

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: GeorgeB] #1542419
10/24/10 12:47 PM
10/24/10 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by EtudeBasher
sorry i really didnt mean to sound patronising sorry if i did
I'm not! (on behalf of Mr Chopin)


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542494
10/24/10 02:57 PM
10/24/10 02:57 PM
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My ABRSM copy of the Chopin Nocturne 9-2 clearly indicates the pedal markings (4 per measure) ... the slur over the RH notes shows note groupings which is gently punctuated by the pedal operation. Here’s the first page.
[Linked Image]

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542534
10/24/10 03:55 PM
10/24/10 03:55 PM
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Funny, mine has different phrasing altogether!

[Linked Image]


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542786
10/25/10 12:00 AM
10/25/10 12:00 AM
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Sounds like the remark of a Scottish caddie at St. Andrews
when an American expressed the view that “golf was a funny game” ...

He quipped ... “It wa nae meant ta be”.

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542792
10/25/10 12:20 AM
10/25/10 12:20 AM
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It's kind of moot if you're pedaling, and despite the staccato markings on the bass notes, clearly, the pedal is held through each bass-chord-chord figure. Nevertheless, it should be quite possible to do reasonably connected fingerings on the two chords in each of those figures, as pianoloverus points out. This is more an issue in places where trying to play legato fingerings is difficult and hangs you up, hampering your ability to play musically.

Use a fingering that a) sounds good and b) feels free and comfortable, which tends to lead to a).

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree that one hears the difference between finger legato and lack of it with the pedal held down. My teacher has proven this to me over and over-- and the Rubinstein example above reinforces the idea. I don't expect this controversy to go away anytime soon, though.

In fact, Chopin himself often wrote fingerings like 1-1, 5-5, or 3-3. It's pretty obvious that he was not overly concerned with finger legato.

Whether you should play "non-legato" fingerings in an audition is an interesting question. I don't have to do such performances so I don't know what is typically happening in those situations. I suppose you could end up with someone judging you who is wedded to the idea of finger legato and doesn't care how good you sound, but I hope they would care more about the musical effect you are getting.

Elene
(heavily influenced by a Taubman Approach teacher)

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: Elene] #1542797
10/25/10 12:36 AM
10/25/10 12:36 AM
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square-39 Offline
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Finger legato and pedal legato are completely different, and the difference is quite clear to anyone who can properly listen. When the pedal is applied, not only are the played notes sustained but sympathetic vibrations of unplayed notes can be heard. This effect is not possible with finger legato alone.

Last edited by square-39; 10/25/10 12:40 AM.
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542858
10/25/10 03:28 AM
10/25/10 03:28 AM
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what edition does everyone use for it? i am fan of the paderewski. thats the main issue because people have different articulations marked due to different editions

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1542894
10/25/10 05:16 AM
10/25/10 05:16 AM
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Germany
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On playing chords with finger legato there is only one difficulty: the legato of repeating notes (for instance the Eb in the first chord of Chopin's op. 9/2). You have to lift up the key to the point where the hammer is a little bit away from the the string but not as far as the damper gets into touch with it.

However, in this nocturne you don't need to play finger legato. I do so because I am used to it, but as long as you take the chord on one pedal you will have the legato effect anyhow.

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Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: square-39] #1542942
10/25/10 07:19 AM
10/25/10 07:19 AM
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Mirior Offline
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Originally Posted by square-39
Finger legato and pedal legato are completely different, and the difference is quite clear to anyone who can properly listen. When the pedal is applied, not only are the played notes sustained but sympathetic vibrations of unplayed notes can be heard. This effect is not possible with finger legato alone.


I don't think this is being questioned. The debate being touched on here is whether one can hear the difference between -pedal with finger legato- and -pedal without finger legato-.

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: Mirior] #1543424
10/25/10 06:27 PM
10/25/10 06:27 PM
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Yes, you are correct. Thank-you, Mirior, for your clarification.

Why would Chopin place a dot (staccato marking) over a note that was designated to be sustained by the pedal? For example, look at the first bass note (e flat) of the second nocturne.

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: square-39] #1543619
10/26/10 12:58 AM
10/26/10 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by square-39
Why would Chopin place a dot (staccato marking) over a note that was designated to be sustained by the pedal? For example, look at the first bass note (e flat) of the second nocturne.
I think Chopin is saying separate the bass notes - it means taking the pedal off and then back on for the two chords. He was the first to treat the pedal artistically.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1543679
10/26/10 03:46 AM
10/26/10 03:46 AM
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Re the staccato marking and pedallling. There is a difference between holding the bass note on for its whole length or truncating it, whilst holding the pedal down throughout. Also, the use of the pedal has to vary from instrument to instrument. Chopin is fond of indicating pedal throughout a bar, half bar, or until a major harmonic change. Sometimes that sounds right on my RX2, sometimes not, so I adjust accordingly.
Similarly, Beethoven has bar after bar of pedal, but this was partly due to the lack of sustaining power of his instruments (and Beethoven's wish for sound volume). On our own instruments we have to be guided by the instrument's qualities and our own musical sense.
But for Chopin, I am quite happy to hold the pedal down through a staccato note: that note has been damped, the sound of the instrument changes.
My own practice is to follow (via Urtext editions) the composer's markings, get to know them, especially if the effect sounds strange and only if I cannot make musical sense start to experiment. It's amazing how often the composer's markings work!

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: sandalholme] #1543694
10/26/10 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sandalholme
Re the staccato marking and pedallling. There is a difference between holding the bass note on for its whole length or truncating it, whilst holding the pedal down throughout.
How can there be? The damper stays in place (off the string).


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1544013
10/26/10 12:57 PM
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i agree. there is practically no difference between staccato and legato for that E-flat note.

but it would sound different, even with pedal, if you use a staccato attack vs a legato touch. that is not a pedal or note-sustaining issue, however. though it might be what chopin had in mind.

but here's a couple of ideas:

-- in staccato, the hammer, along with dozen of other piano parts, return to original position. this changes how the air vibrates and therefore will sound different. so how long you hold down the note will make a difference.

Comment: i certainly cannot hear this and i doubt anybody can hear the difference. after all, there's the whole sound board and how much difference can one hammer possibly make? maybe some higher harmonics it could make a difference... still, a priori, i find it unbelievable if a human could tell the difference.


-- the amount of pedal you use. obviously, if you use so little pedal that the dampers aren't even totally off the strings, staccato and legato will sound different. what if the dampers are totally off the strings, but at varying heights? well, it's conceivable that the distance between the strings and the dampers will affect the way the sounds vibrate. and then, since the dampers come up when you hit notes, you have a slew of combinations.

Comment: it is only slightly more plausible for damper height to make a difference, but only because there are 88 [edit: some number < 88, since the higher register keys don't have them] dampers. my technician swears on this but again, i hear no difference, but maybe that's because i have bad ears. i have trouble believing him until he passes a double-blind test or something.


Last edited by Lingyis; 10/26/10 12:59 PM.
Re: nocturne legato fingerings [Re: vladimiroir] #1545199
10/28/10 02:59 AM
10/28/10 02:59 AM
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My apologies. No, I do not hold down the pedal throughout the bar. I went back to the music and investigated what I do. (What I like about these threads is they make you think and re-examine)
I know what effect I am looking for and what I can get: the staccato bass notes to be detached, yet continuing to sound throughout, if that makes sense. So there is a difference between the sound when Chopin marks the first beat of the LH triplets as staccato and when he doesn't. Now I'm still not sure how I do it, because my style of pedalling is such that I use a lot of fractional pedalling in order to get the musical effect I want: it is difficult to analyse it precisely because my pedalling evolves from what I hear. It must involves rapid partial pedalling to catch the bass note but not fully. So the pedal is down for the 2nd and 3rd LH triplets and the dotted crotchet in the RH needs to sing. Chopin only indicates these staccato bass notes in measures 1, 5, 9, 10 (3rd and 4th triplets only), 21 (first 3 triplets only), 22 (first 2 triplets only), 31 (last triplet only) in my edition (Wiener Urtext, Ekier), so I assume he meant something by them. Whatever I do it makes a difference and I also have to say that I do not always succeed: sometimes the staccato note is instantly lost and sometimes it is too fully caught and the triplet becomes a legato phrase. I think it is also significant that the second 2 notes of the LH triplets which follow a staccato are marked with a phrase (apart from measure 31), so that slight weight is given to the 2nd note.
It just shows how subtle Chopin's music is, even in such a relatively simple Nocturne and how there is always something to explore.


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