I finished arranging the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F minor for a string quartet, only to find out that the chord at bar 7 is impossible for a violinist. My instinctual reaction was:
No, it isn't impossible, listen, it is arpeggiated. Arpeggios are easy. And your typical triple or quadruple stop is an example of arpeggiation out of necessity, not out of beauty.
The person who told me that the chord was impossible, also happened to be a violinist herself. And here was her response to my reaction:
When it is written down as an ordinary chord, we try as much as possible to make it sound simultaneous. I would suggest that you stick to the C grace note as you have in the previous 2 bars. It will still be difficult since it is a leap of an octave then, but it won't be an impossible task.
Here is Beethoven's original:
And I will only be showing the arrangement of a few bars for the sake of space here, but that should be enough for context. Here is my arrangement as it is now, just taking Beethoven's notes and spreading them across the quartet:
You can see the arpeggio symbol that I made invisible in Musescore in the image at that chord.
The violinist that commented on the chord saying that it is impossible is suggesting that I do this instead:
Now, there is another option, but one probably not familiar for most violinists, leaving the arpeggio symbol visible. Most arpeggios on the violin are written out explicitly, with a note value for every note of the arpeggio, not like an arpeggiated chord(which is what Beethoven wrote).
If I go with the grace note option, that leaves me wondering what to do with the other notes of the chord.
Should I go with the grace note option that the violinist is suggesting to me? And is the quadruple stop as I have it right now really an impossibility for the violinist or is it just difficult? I mean surely a closed position triad including a note an octave above the bass note is possible as a quadruple stop for more than just the lowest G major chord in the violin's range, even if it has to be arpeggiated.