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Dupre Prelude In G Minor From Op. 7

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I've learned the B major P&F and now want to tackle the G-minor pair.

 

I'm having problem with the big chords in the RH in the prelude. My hand cannot span more than an octave. Given the speed and the LH pitches, it's not possible to let LH take the lowest notes of the RH chords. Moving the lowest notes up an octave produces an unsatisfactory sound.

 

What's your advice (besides to avoid this piece)?

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I've learned the B major P&F and now want to tackle the G-minor pair.

 

I'm having problem with the big chords in the RH in the prelude. My hand cannot span more than an octave. Given the speed and the LH pitches, it's not possible to let LH take the lowest notes of the RH chords. Moving the lowest notes up an octave produces an unsatisfactory sound.

 

What's your advice (besides to avoid this piece)?

Are you suggesting thumbing up from Choir to Swell here? If so you must have huge thumbs!!!

 

I "cheat" in that I swap the hands over once the triplets begin in the left hand and two or three bars before the pedal 16's start and keep them that way until the two LH chords on the Recit (underpinned by those 4 note pedal chords) in the second system on the last page of the prelude. I find it easier to achieve the legato on those chords than doing it as Dupre suggested and also my RH tires far less quickly than my LH does.

 

All the best,

 

Charles

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It could help because a chord that can't be played with one hand sometimes can be played by the other. It depends how the chord is spaced and whether the thumb is at one end or the other. There are a number of pieces where even quite well known full-time organists swap the hands over and I think particularly of some of the Dupre Noel Variations. I have extremely small hands and I know from experience that in many - but not all - situations this does work.

 

Malcolm

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I said that I cannot play the big chords because hand span is a problem. Swapping the hands isn't going to help, is it?

 

I haven't got the score in front of me, but from memory I think that it should be possible to swap the bottom note of the RH for the top note of the pedal in many cases, which would be a start. Otherwise, would it be worth seeing a doctor and/or physio about some gentle stretches to build up your hand span, and finding some piano technique exercises to do the same?

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I haven't got the score in front of me, but from memory I think that it should be possible to swap the bottom note of the RH for the top note of the pedal in many cases, which would be a start. Otherwise, would it be worth seeing a doctor and/or physio about some gentle stretches to build up your hand span, and finding some piano technique exercises to do the same?

 

I don't think so. My hand can barely reach an octave. Unless I implant an extra joint to my pinkie and/or thumb, there's no way for my hand to reach a 10th.

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It could help because a chord that can't be played with one hand sometimes can be played by the other. It depends how the chord is spaced and whether the thumb is at one end or the other. There are a number of pieces where even quite well known full-time organists swap the hands over and I think particularly of some of the Dupre Noel Variations. I have extremely small hands and I know from experience that in many - but not all - situations this does work.

 

I'm sure your hands are still much bigger than mine.

 

My LH is not any bigger than my RH, so swapping hands will not work for sure. I considered taking the lowest note in the RH with the foot; however, the note in question is either beyond the range of the pedalboard or not within the reach of the foot when it is already playing another note.

 

Currently I am revoicing the RH chords. For example, instead of the written D-Bb-F, C-F#-D, B-G-D, I play Bb-D-F, F#-C-D, G-B-D. This progression can be found on the 3rd page from the end, in the 3rd system. Although the rearranged chords preserves the voice-leading, the overall sound is quite different as the notes are more closely spaced. I am not entirely happy with the altered sound.

 

Hand span is not an issue for me in the Noel Variations.

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