Czerny Op 299 #18, 2 Versions
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
The texture of running LH 16ths in stepwise motion under placid singing RH long notes is very appealing to the ear, and many such LH studies in duplets and triplets can be fairly quickly mastered with determined practice. But this is a tough one. It must be played near Czerny’s speed to be effective, and Czerny’s LH figure is alternately stepwise, intervallic and triadic, requiring close-position fingers to shift and skip and turn with assurance and agility, which in turn requires some difficult fingering.
The study has a 4-square structure, and because the first half ends in the tonic you can get by with learning just that part for a short classroom piece.
As is the case here, Czerny often assigns the technical pattern to a single hand (I think of it as the “working hand”), with the other hand playing very minimal support. This makes sense in something like studies in velocity, where the maximum exposure of your “working hand” means any error is audible, and where you’re invited to focus your concentration on one or the other hand. But you need to keep in mind that in this and similar studies with a busy “working hand” and the barest of harmonic and rhythmic support in the other hand the counts to the combination can easily get lost. You need to flesh out the supporting hand, and that’s an opportunity to get creative, come up with some melody, some accents. In my two arrangements of #18 I propose possible fleshings-out of Czerny’s RH.
1st Version: skipping 2/4 with running LH triplets under a RH tune, 8 sets of 8-count phrases
This is a performance of #18 with the RH fleshed out melodically. I’ve also reduced the speed. I provide a score.
As with #11, you can get double use from #18 by projecting it as a 6/8, the LH’s 2 triplets accented as sextuplets.
2nd version: skipping 6/8 with running LH 16ths under a RH tune, 8 sets of 8-count phrases
This is a performance of my 6/8 arrangement, for which I provide a score. I’ve tried to create a melody in the RH that keeps the 6/8 feel very powerful because this new meter really is against the grain of Czerny’s LH patterns. I also slowed the tempo a bit more.