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Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
#1834320 01/29/12 03:42 PM
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Hi guys,

I've tried everything I can think of for these 4 measures of the Toccata in Le Tombeau de Couperin, but I can't, for the life of me, figure out a fingering that makes this comfortable, and possible to play at tempo!

I'm talking about measures 5-8. Right now, I'm redistributing some of those inner notes between the RH and LH, but it sounds terrible and it's still pretty hard to play. It's on Page 24 of this score.

Tombeau de Couperin

All suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks smile

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834361 01/29/12 04:43 PM
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It's ridiculously difficult to do. It really stretches the webbing of your fingers. Keep practicing it slowly, and if you are a praying person, pray before you perform it. That is the only advice I can give on that section...

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834527 01/29/12 09:09 PM
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Haha thanks! I'll be praying...

So you used 2345 on the em9 and f#m7 with the thumb on the E? Little bit ridiculous cause my hands aren't really that big! I can't even voice it this way... But it's possible?

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834551 01/29/12 09:48 PM
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Mine aren't that large either, but that is exactly how I did it. Keep slow practicing. One thing that will help during your slow practice is that as soon as you play the E right before the chords with 2345, quickly relax the thumb and let it collect toward your hand. Keep your thumb rid of excess tension, because when your thumb tenses, the whole hand and wrist tense up, too.

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834628 01/29/12 11:43 PM
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I'm glad other people have real difficulty with those measures; I kind of wondered if it was just me. I thought they were not playable as written for a long time, and, like you, worked out some redistribution that helped. But somehow, something has changed and they are more playable now, probably because of a combination of working on Dohnanyi exercises and learning more about relaxing the hand in tough spots, as OSK suggests.

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834672 01/30/12 12:54 AM
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The only way I could do it is by turning my middle finger straight up and playing on the nail.

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834769 01/30/12 05:30 AM
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I'm pretty sure the coda is piece of cake compared to these four measures haha!

Looks like I'll have to tough it out - wish me luck! Hopefully my webbing stretches a bit...

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #1834777 01/30/12 06:05 AM
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Yes I think the way OSK said is the only way to do it and get the right accents on the notes. I think redistribution ruins the effect and it leaves the last E in the bar hanging with no good option. I'm lucky that my hands can do those stretches with no problems. There are moments in Ravel's pieces where it is a challenge though - even for large hands.

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #2533660 04/25/16 12:16 AM
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It is absolutely do-able using 2345. Start by practicing it slowly. 3 is not in the usual position.

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #2533723 04/25/16 07:27 AM
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I use 2345 too, after trying all the other options I could possibly think of and not finding a good one!
I find I have to pay attention to exactly where each fingertip is on the key.
Em9 - fingers 2 and 3 are right next to each other by the corner of the F#, finger 4 almost at the corner of the A#, finger 5 only barely on the D
F#m7 - everything moves farther forward toward the fallboard, fingers 2 and 4 play about a third of the way up the black keys, 5 plays the E right next to the D#.
It feels like a rubber band opening for the F#m7 (out and forward) and closing for the Em9 (in and backward).

It can only go fast if I work on it not just thinking about which finger on which note, but imagining a little dot on the key exactly where I want that fingertip to land.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Richter #2534014 04/26/16 12:13 AM
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Zombie thread alert!!

I've been tempted to relearn Le Tombeau (I butchered the whole suite in high school, haha...)

Re: Ravel - Toccata Fingering Help
Orange Soda King #2534057 04/26/16 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
I've been tempted to relearn Le Tombeau (I butchered the whole suite in high school, haha...)
Then may I suggest learning some music from Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street. The overture is beyond amazing. grin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8t4Ny39tt8


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