“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”
Plato

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fingering In Haydn Piano Sonata Hob. XVI/23

     A student writes: "In Haydn Sonata
Hoboken XVI:23 in F major, measure 25, I have trouble starting from 3, through 4 to 5 and back. It just ruins my hand and makes it completely weak. I can play from 5 to 1 easily. I can play from 1 to 5 easily."
     My response: The issue you raise in m. 25 of the Haydn is common to many players. Coincidentally, this is the first issue I discussed with Mrs. Taubman when I first met her. If you choose to begin the passage with 3 on the G, it's necessary to shape the passage in order to accommodate the shorter finger, the 5.  This can be done in two ways: 
    (1) After 3, feel a slight under shape to 5 (notes moving in the same direction upward in the right hand often take an under shape). Then from 5, which is the lowest point, begin an over shape on the way down. This helps power 4.
   (2) From 3, which will be the highest point, gradually lower the forearm (very slightly) to 5, and back up again on the way to 3. Having said all of that, I use a different fingering. Try this:




    "A secondary question I have, is the bench. Ive been messing around with the height, and I can't tell if I'm too high or too low."
    I usually recommend that the player sit with the elbow no lower than the key bed, ideally just above the key bed, which gives the forearm a slight downward angle into the keys. Take care that your hand and arm are aligned, that is, the wrist is rather like a bridge between hand and forearm, level, though not rigid.
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