While playing this Rachmaninoff prelude, I came across this strange marking in the left hand connecting the 2 voices and am wondering what it means. My edition is by Boosey and Hawkes, if that helps.

left hand bracket

  • It basically means "these two notes go to the left hand - yes, we know that this is physically impossible (even for Rachmaninow), it's okay, just do the best job you can". Feb 14, 2018 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


To play the left hand you need to play the C# a tiny bit early and quickly jump up to the B. The bracket is there to show that they can't be played at exactly the same time (even Rachmaninoff with his enormous hands couldn't manage that). Try to sustain the low C# with a half pedal.

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