5

I recently acquired a copy of Mozart's Rondo alla Turca and am a bit baffled by one of the fingerings annotated:

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On measure 47, it marks 3-1-4 for C#, E, A.

Is there a reason for this fingering? Or might it be a typo?

To make the fingering work as-written, you'd need to cross your hand twice, and I've had no trouble playing the passage as 3-5-1 instead (which also makes the rest of the measure an easy 3-2-4-1-3-2 instead of the presumed 5-4-5-2-5-3).

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  • 4
    That’s gotta be a typo. I think the 4 and 1 are reversed. Jan 27 at 18:38
  • 2
    @ToddWilcox 4 and 1 reversed makes no sense, as elaborated in my answer. I think these two fingerings are simply off by a note.
    – Lazy
    Jan 27 at 21:39
  • @Lazy 1-3-4 for A-C#-E makes perfect sense to me. Pretty sure I’ve used that fingering many times in the past. Jan 28 at 0:39
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox Ok, if you feel this way. I don‘t think you’d be able to do it in tempo fluently without a good amount of practice, unless you have quite large hands. But if you really wanted to have the the 4 on the E — why wouldn’t you rather play 1-2-4?
    – Lazy
    Jan 28 at 16:10

2 Answers 2

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Yes, this fingering makes little sense. Considering the following marks I suppose they are taken a note too early, so you’d get

c#3 - e(5) - a1 - c#4

which then allows following

b(3) - d(5) - g#2 - b4

So essentially you shift positions in the final two notes of the chord to be in position for the next chord.

The other suggestion here (positions being the other way round) makes little sense either, for there would be no reason to play c# - e with the extremely uncomfortable fingering 3 - 4 here.

3
  • Your suggested fingering is the same as mine. We only disagree on what could have been intended. 3-4 on C#-E wouldn't be my favorite fingering, but I don't find it at all uncomfortable. It could possibly be what was originally intended, although I agree with OP that 3-5 is better.
    – PiedPiper
    Jan 27 at 22:24
  • @PiedPiper It is possible, yes, but comfortable? When there is absolutely no reason to use 4 over 5? 3 and 4 are the hardest finger to do such spreads, and I cannot see any reasonable editor suggesting this sort of fingering in this place. I mean, if you’ve got really large hands maybe, but else this should force you to go into a quite strained hand position which makes it quite hard to play this fluently at speed. Also it is not my suggested fingering, but my guess at what the intended fingering would be. Which by little surprise would be the one that makes most sense after all.
    – Lazy
    Jan 27 at 22:26
  • Having played both, this feels more correct to me, so I'm accepting this answer. Jan 30 at 3:38
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This fingering makes no sense and can only be an error. 3-5-1 works well.
Your suggestion 3-2-4-1-3-2 for the rest of the passage is not good because it puts the thumb on a black note. Better is 4-3-5 and then as printed 2-4-3.

Even if they are correctly printed, fingerings are only a suggestion, although if you are a beginner it's a good idea to at least try out the marked fingerings until you understand why the editor picked them.

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