I tried putting more pinky finger on the top A-flat but I still can't get it to sound very much.
That's a pity. How do you manage in the rest of the piece? There are plenty of Gb-Ab ninths. Are they less of a problem for you when there are no other notes inbetween?
Too bad I can't just use a Janko keyboard! Have you seen these?
Yep, there was a guy posting here about it some months back. I think he had emigrated to Santiago de Chile.
Trouble with this is that it has two different and essentially (it seems) unrelated properties which tend to be conflated. One is the layout, the primary purpose of which is to make transposition easy without changing fingering. The other is the increased reach, but this does not seem particularly related to the layout, it's just that they made all the keys smaller, and there's no reason why you couldn't do that while retaining the conventional keyboard layout. Aren't piano-accordion keys slighty narrower than piano keys, for example?
Anyway, I've just had another idea....is it allowable to rearrange notes in Chopin's chords? What if I take the low G-flat (RH) and move it up an octave? Again, here is another short 17-second sample. Can you tell that I changed the chord in the second version?
Surprisingly, that sounds reasonably convincing. I can only tell if I really concentrate hard. The effect of the chord containing the "wrong" Gb is much weaker than that of the top Ab coming out stronger. Another thing you might like to try instead is losing the very bottom Ab, and to play the other LH Ab with 5, and the original Gb with your left thumb, or do you think that would sacrifice too much sonority?
I don't want to make Chopin mad....
Well, it boils down to your deciding which option would be least likely to make him turn in his grave. Since you visited it, you'll probably have some insight there.
Speaking of which, you also mentioned recently that you had visited Poulenc's grave nearby, but that mention, together with your photo, seems to have vanished without trace almost as soon as you posted it, as if you had decided you were unhappy with your re-recording of that novelette. No matter. It's just that I had been meaning to ask you about who that was in there with him. So I had to work it out for myself. It's his niece, sole heiress to his estate, who sadly died only a few months after him.