Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prokofiev Flute Sonata fingerings for high D triplets

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Dear Flutists,
Here is a set of fingerings that many might find useful for the triplets going up to high D4 in the Prokofiev Sonata first movement.
The passage in question looks like the above (and wow, does that 8va marking ever make the flutist's job just that much more taxing, doh!
And the alternate fingerings I suggest are here:

Note: click on pictures to make them bigger, then use back button to return to text.

As usual, the overblowing of B-natural for high Gb3 is typical and easy. No one will hear the dubious quality of the harmonic at these high speeds and it frees the pinky of the right hand to begin its movements to the low C keys. Reminder, you cannot have the left thumb on the Bb thumb key from earlier in the run.

A very simple way to play high Bb is without trill keys or even right hand pinky. This fingering often appears in alternate fingering charts as a simplification for use in awkward situations. This situation is PERFECT for its use.

And finally:

This is the standard super high D fingering, with the pinky holding down both low C keys. I find the gizmo doesn't really assist this note on my flute (does it help anyone else?) and that because of the previous notes having no pinky down, there has been more time to move the pinky in advance of the D4 sounding. You can also sound the D4 with no pinky down, but it is wilder and sharper in pitch. Suit yourself.

The best way to practice it is to practice the penultimate Bb3 and D4
as half notes slowly and easily, keeping fingers low and relaxed. As this becomes easier, then speed the two notes up gradually, using quarters, then eighths.
Next day, gradually practice the last three notes: Gb (overblow B), Bb3, D4 in the same slow way, gradually increasing speed and smoothness as the pinky
begins its motion to the low C keys. Finally add one note at
a time to the front of the grouping.

There are more Prokofiev flute works, and Ibert Concerto fingerings here on my alternate fingering page. Best of luck.

Darn that Serge, he should have had to actually play his parts on flute!

Hope this helps.