In Chopin Etude opus 25, number 12, at measure 57, the last notes of left and right hand are supposed to be kept until the end of the first notes of measure 58.

In my feeling, this is impossible to respect this transition of measures 57 to 58 exactly as he wrote, with a speed of 80 for a white note.

Do pianists really respect this ?

Did Chopin really want that we don't release these two notes between measures 57 and 58 ? Or is it a mistake ?

Here is a snapshot : https://www.free-scores.com/partitions_telecharger.php?partition=1506#

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  • 2
    For those with no access to the sheet music, please post a copy.
    – Tim
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:39
  • @Tim : you are right. Sorry. I have added it now. Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:42
  • 1
    What fingering do you use for those notes? Do you switch fingers while still holding those notes down?
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:06
  • @Dekkadeci : I use index ("2") for both hands on the last note of the measure 57. I don't switch fingers. Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


Tying the note over the barline to increase its length by one 16th note is, effectively, "forcing" you to play legato. Since the context already implies legato playing, we might instead ask, Why not tie every note in the same manner?

I believe the answer is that it's because there is a pedal clear indicated. Chopin wants the pedal to clear the reverberating C7 chord from the measure before, but these two notes form interesting suspensions that resolve into the Db chord in the second measure shown. Since this passage is tonicizing F minor (iv in C minor), you could also analyze the chord on beat 1 as a iiø43/iv.

Without the tie, you would clear the pedal just after playing the first notes in the second measure, erasing the G and B♭.


I can't speak to how different pianists might execute this or how many try to respect the notation, but a survey of early editions of Chopin in IMSLP shows this notation (or something equivalent to it) appears consistently, including in the first print edition. A search on autographs indicates we may only have an authorized copy in prep for first ed. publication, not one in Chopin's hand, which I don't have access to. But the consistency of this notation in early editions seems to indicate that Chopin did want pianists to try to at least approximate this.

And given that a similar tied note figure in the left hand occurs again a few bars later, it's hard to claim that this is some sort of "mistake" or simple misprint of Chopin's original notation.

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