Fingering on Fantaisie-Impromptu

What fingering is more appropriate to use at Chopin Fantaisie Impromptu op. 66 at the second F# in right hand ? In most editions I've read (like this one) I saw 5fth finger.

I know that fingerings are mostly based on personal evaluation, however I wanted to know if there is any consensus about this ? I personally use my 4th finger.

• Just a guess. The 1st F# in r.h?
– Tim
Jun 7, 2016 at 8:35
• @Tim the second one actually :) Jun 7, 2016 at 8:37
• There must be no consensus about it. I have the Paderewski edition, and the fingering suggested uses the fourth finger. Personally, I'd use the fingering you are using. A third is not a huge gap and I'm more confident about my fourth finger than my fifth. Jun 7, 2016 at 8:52
• I'm still a little unclear. Is this the second F# in the second measure, or of the given excerpt? Jun 8, 2016 at 20:01
• I personally use 4: 1 2 4 2, and do the same with the same sequence of notes beginning on the 7th 16th in the next measure. I'm not entirely happy with the evenness I get in that passage, though, and I have experimented with several fingerings including the one written here. Jun 9, 2016 at 3:58

I think it depends very much on whether you take the "old school" view that fingering a passage like this involves "passing the thumb under", or the more modern idea the that driving force comes from your hand and arm moving sideways, and not from your fingers.

There is nothing "wrong" with either method. The difference is mainly in how you move and position your hand during the preceding 5-4-3-2-1 (B to E). Your hand position when you arrive on the 1 (E) determines the "best" fingering for the next group of notes.

To exaggerate the difference, try the passage slowly, first with your hand rotated so your fingers point to the left with your thumb "under" playing the E (the OP's fingering), and then rotated the other way so your fingers pointing right and you hand "leading" the movement down instead of "following" it - which will naturally give a fingering like 1 - 2 or 3 - 3 or 4 - 2 - 1 not 1-3-5-2-1.

• I appreciated the dynamics analysis on where fingers are pointed and how the hand is involved. Thank you ! Jun 9, 2016 at 11:30

It seems user314159 got it right in his comment where he said there is no consensus, and to prove it here's yet another approach by the composer and piano pedagogue Louis Kholer, where he, interestingly enough, specifies the finger for the f# in the second (an octave below) passage, but not in the first passage.

The two phrases are almost identical and the hand his positioned the same way (4th finger on the A and 1st on the E) in both of them before playing the D#-F# sequence. The only difference is that in the first passage the f# is in the middle of a 8th notes group, where in the second passage it is in the beginning. So, if this has any purposeful meaning, it seems that for Kholer the beginning of a note group would be a more adequate place to reposition the hand.

I've always played it with the 4th on the first passage and the 5th on the second, it's hard for me now to have an unbiased opinion weather this makes any sense or not...

You should consider that whole six note passage, rather than just that one note/finger. Changing that 5 to 4 changes how the other surrounding notes lie on the hand, and requires changing those fingerings as well. Playing the six note group E-D#-F#-C# B#-D#, try first with the fingering as written in your excerpt, and then with 1241 24. For most hands and intended interpretations of this passage, the fingering as written in your excerpt works best. The idea is that such a fingering lies best on the hands, it feels good under the fingers, and it's easier to convey the sense of linear flow of that line. Try playing and holding down the five notes from D# onwards, and you'll feel how Chopin as a pianist has made this much easier than it looks or sounds. All you have to do is place your hand naturally over those keys and then just rotate your weight around, which is the whole point. The problem with Paderewski's fingering, for some hands, is the finger tuck from going from C# to B#, black to directly adjacent white, 1 to 2. Also, you get different sounds from each method, the first being more fluid and linear, the Paderewski's stressing the pulses of the four note groups and more vertical.