hand choreography and fingering III

A typical moment in Bach’s music where the appearance of a sequence obscures the necessity of an asymmetrical technical approach occurs in the second half of the Gigue of the fourth partita in D-major. I am talking about bars 78-83. All the problems of the upward and downward runs of the right hand can be relatively conveniently solved by sliding with the 4th or second fingers. The upward run in bar 78, however, remains insecure. The fifth finger is locked on F#, and the lower fingers (likely 1-1-2-1-2) are forced to tiptoe awkwardly about, risking irregularity, wrong articulations and a crunch into the sharps. Observe the harpsichordist’s or pianist’s left heel during this bar: it wiggles nervously. An additional problem is that all the mud will be tossed up right in the first bar of the sequence. Likely one will be forced to perform the following ones while still in technical recovery mode.

I play F# and G with the right hand, sliding my thumb off the sharp. Then, I play the A on the second beat with my left hand (1-5; D and A) while relocating the thumb of my right hand (the fifth finger is still locked on F#) towards the front edge of the keyboard for an easy step-in on B. One will have to exercise the precise movement of the left hand, which comes from above, while the right thumb gets out of the way; at the end the whole bar feels both more relaxed and more secure to play.

(One of my former teachers would hold up his hand now and say: “hundred guilders please.”)

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: