hand choreography and fingering II

Often, one fails to master a certain passage to ones liking because long ago, one practiced this passage in a tense or otherwise faulty and ineffective manner. In obnoxious cases even patient slow reworking does not entirely solve the problem. The old approach is too well learned-in and likely, ones fear of performing that particular passage further blocks ones concentration.

A new fingering often solves the matter. In fact, most of the time, the originally chosen fingering is the very cause of the trouble. Additionally, a new technical approach opens the door to an empty brain-box, which will be easier accessible in performance and helps to avoid relapsing into the old, discarded approach.

Bar 196 in the cadenza of the fifth Brandenburg concerto is a good example. I cannot think why I, a lefty, ever decided to crash through the whole passage from bar 195 to the middle of bar 197 with my right hand (left hand suspended in mid-air waiting for its sideshow in bar 197). The technical problem points are the notes around the second beat which of necessity are engaging the fourth and fifth finger too often for true comfort, and the few notes before the fourth beat that tend to get irregular because of a tenseness following the first problem spot. The solution is to allow the right hand to relax during the run, and I do this on two spots:

The right hand plays the first upward scale until the A (5th finger). The following F# and the G on the second beat are taken by the left hand (4 – 3), the right hand resumes with 5 on B.

Likewise, the right-hand run on the third beat is played until E (5th finger) whereupon F# – G# are played by the left hand (4 – 3) and the the right hand resumes on A (4 – 5 and down again).

For the success of this sort of re-arrangement, ones open-mindedness to radical re-thinking is more important than the exact solution. One should, however, avoid trying too many versions without actually choosing one: All the new brain boxes would huddle together in the drafty corner of uncertainty and it would be impossible to dig out the right one at the right moment.

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