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"Un Sospiro", mm. 50–51

For the tall left-hand arpeggio that descends two and a half octaves in the first bar, my first thought for fingering (for my hands which can only span an octave comfortably) would be starting from the top of the arpeggio, D#(1), F#(3), B(5) D#(1), F#(3), B(5), F#(3), A(2), D#(1), B(5), F#(3) A(2), D#(1). However, it is a bit awkward for me to reset my hand position between the two octaves of the B-major arpeggio and I was wondering if there was an easier fingering or will I have to just deal with it?

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  • No clue whether it's actually easier, but my default for figures like your first 3 notes (D#-F#-B) is actually 1-2-5. Note that my hands are about the same size as yours.
    – Dekkadeci
    Dec 17, 2021 at 12:48

1 Answer 1

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I think your fingering is already the most natural in that final B7 add (m2) chord extended in measures 51 and 52 of the E sharp section before modulating back to D flat major:

  • Having LH fingers 5 and 1 anchoring the most important notes of the chord (B and D#) in that context
  • LH fingers 5 and 1 synchronize with the RH fingerings: easier mentally
  • As the hand moves over the keyboard, your LH is already mentally anchored to aim for a distance of 10-11 keys since measure 49 (for C and F#) although only physically stretched for about an octave while using the lateral wrist movement to reach the bottom B and high D# (see the videos below).
  • Once the little finger 5 plays the bottom note (B), you should immediately aim for D# on 1, leaving your fingers 3 and 2 find their places for the diminished chord (first inversion of D#dim) notes, thus treating the F# and A as fillers
  • Another reason for using finger 3 for F# (instead of Dekkadeci's 2) is so that the stretch is consistent between fingers 1 and 3 (a major 6th interval). Actually we can also mentally anchor finger 3 over the F# leaving the fingers 1 and 5 position fluid.

The naturalness of that fingering can be seen in two YouTube performances which use your fingering, showing a close-up view of the hands (hint: play them at 0.25 speed):

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    A note to future readers: pay close attention to the reasoning behind the fingerings. These are strong considerations in determining fingering in any piece, even if they ultimately lead to different specific choices of which finger to use where. As an example, I prefer @Dekkadeci's 2 on F# to GratefulDisciple and Quippy's 3, but for the same reason of "stretch consistency": given my hand size/shape, it allows a more comfortable and consistent execution.
    – Aaron
    Dec 17, 2021 at 20:28

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