I'm always interested in the different kinematics employed by pianists who get similar results.

I've been listening to Vincenzo Maltempo play the Alkan Etudes and I'm curious about his octave technique in the finale of the "symphony".

His wrist seems to be low and fingers curled upwards in the upper part of the position change however I can't see what is happening on the bounce/upstroke and the attack.

Link to the video.Time starts where at point of interest.

Vincenzo Maltempo Octaves Youtube

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of interesting things in his technique. First of all, he lifts his second, third, and fourth fingers when playing the octaves - this prevents him from accidentally touching the notes in between the octave notes. Secondly he bends his wrist backward - this also helps him to play only the two octave notes, and makes lifting his fingers easier. Finally, he relaxes his hand - this is necessary due to the speed of the octaves. If there was too much tension in his hand, it would be impossible for him to move his hand up and down the piano.

Additionally, his first and fifth fingers are kept in the same position - it's only his hand that moves left, right, up, and down. This keeps his octaves clean and accurate because he only focuses on the pattern of the octaves rather than each individual note.

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