In my edition of this piece, there's very specific (Ped) (*) markings, which suggests to me that the composer is laying out all the pedalling.

However, a bit after the Forte/fermata in the long section without measure bars, he seems to have slacked off, or forgotten a 'simile' -- there are eight arpeggios apparently without lifting the pedal. This seems a bit hard to believe.

Also in this piece, I wonder what musical distinction is to be drawn between a comma and a fermata over a bar line.

  • Can you clarify what you mean by a comma? I'm familiar with a comma being a + in front of a note, indicating an alternate tuning.
    – user28
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 2:23
  • 2
    Presumably it's a reference to an actual , comma, which is used for a short pause (it's a breath mark in choral music, at least). Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 3:03
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    Yes, an actual comma written above the staff. I've seen them before but never in the same piece with a fermata.
    – bmargulies
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Going by the edition posted on IMSLP here, I would consider the phenomena you mention to be an editorial oversight. Possibly, whoever was looking at page 133 expected the pedaling to continue on the next page, and whoever was looking at page 134 assumed someone had already written a 'simile'.

Given how he's written the pedaling everywhere else in the Risoluto section, I would find it very difficult to interpret it otherwise.

As Ben mentioned above, the , would be interpreted as a breath mark by vocalists and wind instrumentalists, so we see them alongside fermatas quite a bit. They occasionally indicate a tiny bit of pause after some rubato, or something like allarg.->,a tempo... If you notice page 134, 2nd system, the preceding arpeggio starts with a note marked tenuto, which could be interpreted similarly.

In this piece, I would consider the , to be more the idea of space, whereas the fermata over a bar line would be actually a bit of space.

  • I totally agree with this. I was probably just an edition mistake. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 4:04
  • Many thanks. It's cheering that my teacher and I had tentatively reached the same conclusion.
    – bmargulies
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 20:25

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