A lot has been said about Alicia de Larrocha's hands... She was a small woman and the size of her hands was proportional to her stature. She had small hands but with great elasticity that, based on stretching exercises, she managed to reach a tenth. Moreover, her little fingers were as long as the ring fingers. This fact is not very common!
She always said that her greatest handicap was not the size of her hands but the length of her arms, which were short!!!
Many things have been said about her hands, completely uncertain:
- That she omitted some notes that she could not reach. IT IS NOT TRUE. Another thing is that she used to do her own fingering to play all the notes and to be completely faithful to the score.
- That she had surgery in some interdigital webbing to cover more notes. IT IS NOT TRUE.
The surgery she underwent (1968) was in the phalanx of the thumb of her right hand because, without her knowledge, a cyst was "emptying" the phalanx and, one day, when she opened the door of a taxi in Montreal (Canada), she felt a sharp pain. The bone was disintegrated... Her artistic life was in serious danger but thanks to Doctor Josep Trueta, her phalanx was rebuilt. She used the recovery time to study some works for the left hand and include them in her already large repertoire.