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) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
21 members (Chris888, Bellicapelli, drumour, FloRi89, CharlesXX, CyberGene, dorfmouse, A789, 2 invisible), 378 guests, and 436 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#3090017 03/06/21 06:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 61
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 61
Having trouble on deciding fingerings for this section - some editions (including the one I'm using here) switch the triplets from the right hand to the left hand and continue the upper melody with the right hand, but I've also seen it performed with the triplets in the right hand and the left hand crossing over for the melody. I'm wondering which fingering you believe is more practical and efficient.

[Linked Image]


Leona - high school piano student
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmothUPuf8sdY6FRc2m4oQw
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Why wouldn't you want to just continue that figure with just the right hand?

The reason I put it that way is, well just, why wouldn't you want to? grin

No matter if some editions might show it differently, which I never would have imagined (and never saw anyone play it that way), it's so much more logical musically to continue the figure with the right hand, and continue with what's the melody by putting the left hand up there, plus it feels neat to cross the hand (doesn't it?), and maybe not to be ignored, I understand that audiences love seeing hand-crossings.

BTW I never thought of that last thing till recently when I read something that said it.
Never thought of it before but it instantly made sense to me. It is kind of an interesting visual thing.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,476
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,476
I think Beethoven notated the triplets to be switched to LH.

At least, I think that's what Donald Francis Tovey says in his erudite notes to the ABRSM edition (pub. 1931 - the olde ones are always the best smirk ) that I use. OK, it's the only one I have.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
C
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
I agree with Mark on this one. Why wouldn't you want to just continue with the right hand.

So, I looks up Youtube for examples of how pianists treat this passage, confident to find plenty of continuers.

OMG, the first one I look at is Lisitsa who switches, as does the next example, a 12 year old Tiffany Poon.

And Gould switches for the first 8 bars (brs 21 to 28) and then reverts to crossing.

I felt like my world is crumbling before me. I never dreamt anyone would play this passage by switching.

Only Daniel Barenboin plays it as I expected, the "correct" way.

BTW, the switchers revert to crossing in bars 38 to 40!

I think you should consider which way of playing will give you the most musical result, which one works the best for you. I'm in shock.

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
C
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
Originally Posted by bennevis
I think Beethoven notated the triplets to be switched to LH.

At least, I think that's what Donald Francis Tovey says in his erudite notes to the ABRSM edition (pub. 1931 - the olde ones are always the best smirk ) that I use. OK, it's the only one I have.......

I had a look at Weiner Urtext, Henle and an edition by Schenker, and all imply a switch by the fingering indicated.

Gawd, I've never noticed this before.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,690
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,690
The "why wouldn't you want to cross hands?" argument is not correct to think about this IMO. No one can tell from listening which way this passage is done so the musical line is not a relevant consideration.
A better way to think about this passage is "why would you want to do it one way or the other?"

I think some pianists and editors switch hands because it is technically easier for them to play the triplets that way. I checked about six Youtube videos of top pros playing this and three of them Tiffany Poon, Valentina Lisitsa, and Boris Giltberg switch hands. Barenboim, Gould, and Pires didn't switch. I think you have to try it both ways and see which one works better for you.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/06/21 08:14 PM.
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 61
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 61
Yup, in my edition the switching changes to hand crossing in measure 38 which I think is because the melody switches from bottom to top twice as fast in these 2 measures. I think I'll stick with switching in case my piano teacher asks me to follow exactly what's written - btw, I'm using the Dover edition (Schenker).


Leona - high school piano student
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmothUPuf8sdY6FRc2m4oQw
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
C
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
Originally Posted by Leona πŸ’œ
Yup, in my edition the switching changes to hand crossing in measure 38 which I think is because the melody switches from bottom to top twice as fast in these 2 measures. I think I'll stick with switching in case my piano teacher asks me to follow exactly what's written - btw, I'm using the Dover edition (Schenker).


Interesting Leona. I have the Dover Schenker as well, and this edition leaves out a small detail at 38 which appears in both Urtext editions I have. ie Henle and Weiner. The Urtexts imply no hand crossing from 38, so I suppose they are Beethoven's markings.

I can try posting a picture later of that section if that helps.

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Goodness gracious. grin grin

Recognizing that "of course I could be wrong, very wrong, painfully wrong" (no smilie, because this is serious!), all-the-time hand crossing seems so musical and logical to me, and doing otherwise on any of those seems so unmusical and illogical, that I would need to see actual manuscripts of Beethoven's to be convinced of that other way.

And even then, I'd probably find some excuse to still doubt it. ha

Actually probably not -- but I would have to do some pretty deep thinking to try to understand why it is supposed to be different in the different places.

Originally Posted by Leona πŸ’œ
Yup, in my edition the switching changes to hand crossing in measure 38 which I think is because the melody switches from bottom to top twice as fast in these 2 measures....

If that's the only thing that I could figure out (the absolutely onliest thing), I would take it to mean that Beethoven just felt that it's easier or more comfortable to do musical justice to it by switching the hands, compared to crossing, as long as you have time to do that....

......and therefore that if one feels it's easier and more comfortable to leave the right hand where it is and cross over with the left hand, even when you have plenty of time to do the switching, it's fine to leave the right hand where it is and do the cross-over.

If I could figure out and understand some musical reason for doing it differently in the different places (or if someone would tell me and then I'd understand), I would see it otherwise.

And I'm willing!

And in any event, very interested.

Thanks for noticing and for posting this, Leona!!

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
C
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
Here is bar 38 as seen in Weiner Urtext and Henle. Note the little bracket next to the first A in the treble which is a pretty clear indication to play the triplets with the left hand. Missing in the Schenker edition!

Can we imply the Beethoven assumed that the previous bars would be played by crossing over with the left hand?

[img]http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...tion-example.html#lg=3090080&slide=0[/img]

PS I don't know why the picture is not showing up. At least you can see it by clicking on it.

Last edited by CharlesXX; 03/07/21 12:13 AM.
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
(Charles: I don't find a way to make the link work, including by copy/pasting it into the address bar.)

I have two editions.
The B¨low edition indicates crossing on all of them.

The Peters (it says "Urtext") edition doesn't exactly "say" but it indicates fingerings that imply you don't cross (like in what Leona showed in the 1st post).
With a thing like that -- if that's what the manuscript shows -- I would never take it to mean you can't cross -- i.e. would never think it would be wrong to do it.
And BTW I don't at all assume that the manuscript shows such fingerings.

Speaking of which:
What do y'all think, or does anyone know:
In general, when an edition claiming to be "Urtext" shows fingerings, are we to assume that those fingerings were in the manuscript?

Me: I think not necessarily, except when it is some very unexpected fingering, like in some Chopin where things like "4-5-4-5" are shown on a melodic figure, like in the Berceuse.

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
C
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
C
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 212
Finally.......... here is bar 38

[Linked Image]

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
One justification for changing hands for the triplet figure occurs at measures 31-32. The last triplet note of measure 31 is a B (right hand in Henle); the first note of the triplet figure in measure 32 is a B (left hand in Henle). Is it not easier, at tempo, to play the repeated B with the other hand rather than trying to play it with the same hand?

Or do you find it just as easy to play the repeated B by changing a finger in the hand that is consistently playing the triplets? This does mean a change in the "muscle memory" pattern; that is, the alternating note pattern is disrupted. Which is the easier way to accommodate this change?

The same question arises at measures 33-34 with the C; at measure 35-36 with the D.

[Linked Image]

When I studied this movement I was always in two minds about whether to be consistent throughout these measures by ignoring the changing of hands for the triplets, but then that repeated note suggested that I should change hands. Then the question arose; do I change hands only at those specific points, or do I remain "physically consistent" and not change hands at all?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
Following on my post above:

What do you think Schnabel is indicating by the descending arrows (in small parentheses) above the measures in question from my previous post?

[Linked Image]

Yes, those descending strait lines in (barely visible) parentheses are (barely visible) arrows, but, of course, are quite clear in the full-sized score.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Originally Posted by BruceD
.....Is it not easier, at tempo, to play the repeated B with the other hand rather than trying to play it with the same hand?

Or do you find it just as easy to play the repeated B by changing a finger in the hand that is consistently playing the triplets?

To me, the latter, at the very least -- i.e. at least just as easy, but really I would say, all things considered, easier, because of the thing that you mentioned next:

Quote
...This [i.e. switching hands] does mean a change in the "muscle memory" pattern; that is, the alternating note pattern is disrupted.

Yes, although (irrelevant semantic point) grin that's not what is commonly meant by that phrase. In any event I'd call it just muscle activity; muscle memory is usually about a 'memory' thing per se. This is just that the hand doing the triplets stops doing that activity and has to start something else, and the other hand has to assume the triplet activity.
But we mean the same thing.

Quote
When I studied this movement I was always in two minds about whether to be consistent throughout these measures by ignoring the changing of hands for the triplets....

I'm impressed just that you and others ever noticed that these passages are indicated in the different ways. I never did, and never imagined there was any way to consider playing them besides crossing the left hand over.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,958
Another comment. I have a reprint of the Schnabel edition made by Simon and Schuster. The copy in IMSLP is not the same one that I have because I don't have the following comment by Schnabel. Otherwise, I could have quoted Schnabel the first time. Here is what Schnabel writes:

The triplet movement in the next 3 bars [*] (as well as during the 5th to 7th bar) is explicitly and unmistakenly assigned to the left hand; from the 8th bar on, alternately to the right and left hand. Starting with the 10th bar, there is also a reversal of motion at the beginning of each bar, whereby the last quaver of the first bar and the first quaver of the second bar is the same note. Most editions ignore this division of hands and without further explanation substitute a distribution in which all triplets are played with the right hand, or indicate irregular hand changes in the middle of the bars, that is, if they do not invent even bolder rearrangements. Anybody who takes the trouble to have a look can easily determine why Beethoven’s different distribution of hands at the reappearance of this motive can in no way justify such arbitrary editing.

* Schnabel is counting bars from the point of discussion, not from the beginning of the movement.

This may (or may not!) help resolve the OP's question, although one still has the right or the choice to do what is most comfortable.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Originally Posted by BruceD
Here is what Schnabel writes:

The triplet movement in the next 3 bars [*] (as well as during the 5th to 7th bar) is explicitly and unmistakenly assigned to the left hand; from the 8th bar on, alternately to the right and left hand. Starting with the 10th bar, there is also a reversal of motion at the beginning of each bar, whereby the last quaver of the first bar and the first quaver of the second bar is the same note. Most editions ignore this division of hands and without further explanation substitute a distribution in which all triplets are played with the right hand, or indicate irregular hand changes in the middle of the bars, that is, if they do not invent even bolder rearrangements. Anybody who takes the trouble to have a look can easily determine why Beethoven’s different distribution of hands at the reappearance of this motive can in no way justify such arbitrary editing.

So, he was adamantly for "switching," and, if I'm understanding it, in a specific way and for the reason you suggested.

And this part of your post is (I would say!) especially admirable....

Quote
This may (or may not!) help resolve the OP's question, although one still has the right or the choice to do what is most comfortable.

.....because you could easily have just left this as a thing that strongly supports what you had suggested!!


It's hard to argue against Schnabel, including because we look stupid if we do.... ha
And I better not, but I will anyway.

A little. smile

If what Schnabel meant by the last thing was that the 2-same-notes-in-a-row is why it's so clear that Beethoven meant to switch hands, I find that very hard to embrace. Beethoven all the time wrote figures that are far more awkward than playing those 2 same notes with the same hand, which I consider not awkward at all. And I'm surprised that Schnabel 'of all people' (!) would feel that, because I would have thought that he absolutely would have been more drawn to the continuity of staying with the same hand on the triplets rather than the maybe-slightly-better elegance of switching hands.

BTW: There's another issue in this which I don't think determines it either but which I think is of interest in imagining what Beethoven may have intended.

If we "cross-over" in all the places, we're relying on the pedal to sustain the low whole note.
(the D in the passage that we see in the 1st post)

One might say that this in itself is a reason not to cross over, because then you have the dissonance of the high B-flat in the next measure.

But, a couple of things -- and I'm going to wind up saying that this is a point in favor of crossing over.

First of all, on the pianos of Beethoven's time, that dissonance was less of an issue, because the notes that would be sustained by the pedal wouldn't be sustained as strongly. There wouldn't be as much sound for the B-flat to fight with.

But besides that, don't we want that dissonance?

I guess that's a matter of interpretation. We really could argue that either way. I think we do want it, but I don't know, maybe that's because since I've always crossed over and always held the pedal all the way through (although not "full bore"), I'm used to it.
(It takes some good attention to make it work well on the modern piano, but not much.)

Anyway: It seems to me that a main reason for switching the hands is if you don't want to use pedal, or at least if you don't want the necessity of it. In that case you do have to switch hands; you have no choice, unless you think it's OK to make the low D disappear, which I'd say you can't let yourself do.

I want the dissonance.
(Do y'all?)
Which requires a sustained pedal.
And so, no problem about crossing the hands.
Provided we don't assume (as Schnabel did!) that how Beethoven wrote it means that there's a solid reason not to.

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,297
(re the dissonance of the B-flat:
It's also the G# in that upper figure)

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,757
S
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,757
Most main points have already been stated. Most editions, including Schnabel suggest a hand switch. In bar 38 Schnabel also suggests hand crossing.

But that said fingering is something that must be as natural as possible. So you should adopt the one that works best for you. It is only if musically there is something that you cant do with a given fingering, which you consider important, that should push you to change to a less natural one. And even then, it must be a balance between musicality and your ability to execute. Whats the point of playing it the right way if the result is not good (of course you can always work at improving your technicality but thats another subject). Obviously since there must be one fingering that is the one that Beethoven envisionned and that there are 2 completely opposite executions out there, one of them is aligned with Beethoven and the other not. And yet pianists obviously do not hesitate to use whatever suits them best. So should you.

Personally i find the hand switching to be more natural and less complicated than crossing hands. It allows a better control of the touch for both hands. But that is just me.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,690
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,690
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Most main points have already been stated. Most editions, including Schnabel suggest a hand switch. In bar 38 Schnabel also suggests hand crossing.

But that said fingering is something that must be as natural as possible. So you should adopt the one that works best for you. It is only if musically there is something that you cant do with a given fingering, which you consider important, that should push you to change to a less natural one. And even then, it must be a balance between musicality and your ability to execute. Whats the point of playing it the right way if the result is not good (of course you can always work at improving your technicality but that's another subject). Obviously since there must be one fingering that is the one that Beethoven envisioned and that there are 2 completely opposite executions out there, one of them is aligned with Beethoven and the other not. And yet pianists obviously do not hesitate to use whatever suits them best. So should you.

Personally i find the hand switching to be more natural and less complicated than crossing hands. It allows a better control of the touch for both hands. But that is just me.
This is the correct explanation IMO.

Most of the other explanations are not, I think. Everything boils down to what's technically easier for the performer. I don't think there are any musical reasons for choosing either approach. If a pianist could play the passage either way equally easily, then no one could hear a difference based on whether or not the hands were switched.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Korg C1 and G1 line-in mod.
by OU812 - 04/21/21 03:30 AM
metal tuning pin bushings
by Key Surfer - 04/20/21 11:50 PM
Anderszewski WTC II selections live
by wr - 04/20/21 10:48 PM
Rhythm question regarding Schumann Op. 76/2
by hawgdriver - 04/20/21 10:32 PM
New Yamaha CX series vs Boston
by GraceTuraco - 04/20/21 09:15 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,437
Posts3,084,774
Members101,254
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© 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 7.7.5