Thanks to Owen for much good stuff.
If authentickque fingering would have been such an issue in past times, we
would find more of them in the surviving music.
I'm suspicious of modern thumb-under fingering in early stuff, like the
virginalists. I hear it when someone uses it, the music gets another
In Bach, Scarlatti, Rameau or other 18th century virtuoso or otherwise full-
hand stuff, thumbs are necessary. I don't in the least think
about "historical" or not, I write what fits my hand and the idea I have
about the passage. It is a good thing to remember heavy and light, bar
hierarchy and the range of possibly appropriate articulations when deciding
But there is a limit: I used to play the sixteenth run in the c-minor Bach
violin sonata mvt.II, bar 4, r.h.: 32 32 32 3, to match the violin
articulation in bar 9, but I changed this after years for safety reasons to
543213 2. Possibly I'm now able to articulate this passage in any way I
wish, which definitely wasn't the case when I first played the sonata in
That sonata has some neat little challenges when it comes to fingerings!
[just look at II bar 30-32 r.h., or IV bar 34-37 r.h.]
In the allegros, I have typically four to six figures per bar written into
my part, sometimes less; often starting notes and the place of the thumb,
and everything that's different from routine solutions. Why would this be a
problem - people are different. I think I need this: I'm always very
nervous when performing and the written fingerings are my safety net.
But I would not go tell my violinist or anyone else that this is the Only
Authentic way to do it. Yikes