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How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591949 04/14/05 07:45 PM
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Most of his pieces feature near impossible finger stretches for many players (my friend from school especially, who is extremely talented but has short stubby fingers). I suppose Chopin's fingers must have undoubtedly been very long, therefore. How long were they, and more importantly, what interval could they cover at their max. Personally, my right hand can stretch from middle C to the F an octave above it with little trouble (that's a twelfth, right, or eleventh?) , but I've seen stretches larger than that in some of his Nocturnes.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591950 04/14/05 08:27 PM
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I don't know mabye, but mabye those incredible chords were meant to be rolled? Just a thought.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591951 04/14/05 08:28 PM
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Im not sure big his hands were.

Alot of people just role chords that are that large.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591952 04/14/05 08:29 PM
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Hahaha you posted the same post I did laugh

Probally posted right after me.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591953 04/14/05 08:40 PM
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Meh, you could, but you can tell it's intended to be played simultaneously or close to it. I.e Heroic Polonaise measure 24, i think?


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591954 04/14/05 08:47 PM
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even that little prelude op.28.7 has a chord at bar 12 which is hard even to roll (RH-11245), because it has really awkward finger positions on that chord, at least for me.

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591955 04/14/05 08:52 PM
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"Chopin's fingers were tiny, delicate, shiny, and metallic. Yet, even with such small hands, young Frédéric sure could get around the keyboard. His music is a flurry of notes, like a whirlwind, flying from bottom to top and back again. His music is warm, romantic, and tender; in a typical Chopin recording, you don't often hear the sounds of agony and pain (except possibly from the pianist)."

http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-1126.html


Sam
Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591956 04/14/05 08:58 PM
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Hmmm... the Revolutionary etude sounded pretty agonized, at least until the end.

His Prelude in C minor sounds somewhat agonized.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591957 04/14/05 09:49 PM
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I think his 2nd and 3rd sonatas do as well. As does etude op.25 no.11 - "Winterwind".

Speaking of composer's hands... I've heard that Liszt's thumb was so long that it reached above the nuckle of his 2nd finger when he lay it flat on a table. I suppose that would explain some of his crazy big chords.


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591958 04/15/05 02:55 AM
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According to Liszt himself, he could only just manage F#-A#.

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591959 04/15/05 07:23 AM
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Yeah, Liszt could barely manage the tenths at the end of the Hammerklavier's adagio sostenuto. Chopin is said to have had small hands. However, the fact that he was very flexible, his technique was very free, and the pianos he preferred had narrower keys helped him negotiate some very tricky looking passages quite easily.

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591960 04/15/05 07:23 AM
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SF Main Library had a BIG exhibit on Chopin paraphernalia a few years ago, which included a cast of his hand. Absolutely beautiful. I would describe it as about a size 7 or 8 - my hand size is 3 and it was about twice my size. Even Liszt only reached about a tenth. No matter what they tell you, size matters...

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#591961 04/15/05 07:27 AM
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I have a cast of Chopin's hand sitting in my living room. It is a small hand. They have a bust of Chopin at Steinway Hall in NY with larger hands - but those are not the proper size.

Ken

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591962 04/15/05 09:00 AM
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According to the book Chopin's Funeral, Chopin was just over five feet tall. How big can your hands be when you're that size?

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591963 04/15/05 09:34 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by TheloniousPunk:
According to the book Chopin's Funeral, Chopin was just over five feet tall. How big can your hands be when you're that size?
Well Luckey Roberts was just *under* five feet tall and could reach a 14th laugh

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591964 04/15/05 12:31 PM
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They were small, but flexible. It isn't a case of the size of your hand, its just an application of technique for stretching - many people don't actually know how to stretch properly.

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591965 04/15/05 01:28 PM
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Enlighten us... How do you properly stretch?


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Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591966 04/15/05 05:16 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by kluurs:
I have a cast of Chopin's hand sitting in my living room....
Ken,

If it's sitting in your living room, are you sure it's his hand and not his ***? laugh


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591967 04/15/05 05:28 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Auntie Lynn:
SF Main Library had a BIG exhibit on Chopin paraphernalia a few years ago, which included a cast of his hand. Absolutely beautiful. I would describe it as about a size 7 or 8 - my hand size is 3 and it was about twice my size. Even Liszt only reached about a tenth. No matter what they tell you, size matters...
Concur the size matters part. At the same time we have relatively small hands that produced unimaginably beauitful and relaxed sound. I'm talking about the hands of the likes of Pires or de Larrocha.

Re: How long were Chopin's fingers, anyway?
#591968 04/15/05 08:00 PM
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or say, not only the famous Mozart players, but Mozart himself.

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