Over the years I have often been obsessed with arpeggios and their fingerings – I have an unfinished book on the subject buried beneath piles of other projects that will probably never be completed either. Anyhow, here are a few different fingerings for that arpeggio.
And here are the fingerings for the variation I used at the concert on Sunday.
The astute observer might have noticed that an obvious fingering choice was not presented. Namely:
or any other of that ilk, meaning those using the ‘A’ harmonic on the ‘D’ string.
And so I come to the secret (perhaps diabolical) reason for this post. I have always had disdain for the ‘A’ harmonic substituting for the closed note. To me it usually comes across as some sort of copout – the crutch used to prop up an inadequate technique.
The Trout Quintet doesn’t come up very often, so the aforementioned harmonic isn’t on my list of the worst offenders. Here are a couple:
Strauss, Ein Heldenleben, #9
where the dulcet, flutelike tone of the harmonic in the middle of the line sounds out of place, dare I say even a bit comic.
Bach, Bouree from the 3rd cello suite (in the G major edition)
where similarly, the apex of the phrase suddenly changes color, demonstrating the player lacks the technique (or courage) to reach the high note.
I know my views are probably in the extreme. Perhaps my dedication to arpeggios makes me unduly biased against this one note, but there you have it. And now I brace myself for the slings and arrows of the harmonic apologists.