• rudyapffel-czerny

Czerny Op 299 #14, 2 Versions

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Though of an entirely different character (to the degree that there's difference of character among these studies) #14 is virtually identical with #11: the same (well, just about) length; the same binary structure; a B section that becomes harmonically adventuresome; material within the first 16 measures (equivalent to #11’s first 8 measures) that easily resolves into an AABA form. Anything you did in the way of shuffling and manipulating #11 you should be able to do with #14. The difference is that instead of #11’s skipping triplets Czerny gives us a busy decorated tick-tock.

As so often, Czerny’s “velocissimo” metronome marking (quarter @116) might get you some giggles in ballet class, but if you want something more you should slow it down. I play the quarter @80, and it’s good for battues and piques. It’s ok for frappe’s given the pick-up and the strong-beat melodic line, but it should be pointed out as a general caution to the accompanist: a fast figure made up of many notes doesn’t really represent musically what the dancer is doing in frappe; what the dancer is doing is much more unadorned, much more stark, even violent (though exquisitely controlled). It’s not easy or pleasant to play this piece with starkness and violence (however exquisite); you need to play the RH strong beats ff with the little finger, and the mordent figure is the opposite of “unadorned.”

Slowed down even more, #14 can serve jetes, but I think the mordent figure sounds more and more trite the slower you go…

1st Version: bright tick-tock 2/4, 16 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #14 1st Version Audio

As with #11 I’ve created a shortcut ternary version of this piece. I use only Czerny’s first 12 measures, doubling the content of mm 9-12 to get my needed 8 measures of B section before repeating mm 1-8 (the A section, which Czerny conveniently ends in the tonic). I rewrite Czerny’s m 12 to create a turn-around to the tonic. I supply a score of this shortcut arrangement.

Op 299 #14 1st Version Score

2nd Version: bright tick-tock 2/4 with 3-part polyphony, 16 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #14 2nd Version Audio

My second version of #14 is the same length as my shortcut arrangement but it uses almost all of Czerny’s material and introduces 3-voice polyphony (using DAW software). And it’s also by way of illustrating the kind of fun you can have elaborating Czerny’s material with a little polyphony–and the kind of fun DAW makes possible.