• rudyapffel-czerny

Czerny Op 299 #35, 2 Versions

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

The specific technical task here is initiating broken 8vas from the upper note. That’s valuable training for strengthening RH 4-5 as well as for playing RH 8va’s with 1-4 on black keys (which will give your unison 8vas much more speed and fluency than if you play them only with 1-5). There’s also a considerable workout for the LH starting with m 16.

As usual with Czerny’s 6/8 studies this one will be far more useful in ballet class at a reduced speed–I play the dotted quarter @90. Even at reduced speed mastering the technical challenges will take time, but there are many shortcuts to getting this study quickly into your repertory: in the broken 8va sections you can play the top of the 8va as a grace note ahead of the lower note, or initiate the broken 8va from the lower note; you can rewrite Czerny’s LH skips and 16ths as simple waltz accompaniment 8ths…and so forth.

Once you unlock the enjambment of mm 7-8, #35 resolves into one 16-bar and four 8-bar episodes of contrasting textures. This makes it easy to rearrange, using only the simpler material to fashion a finished piece.

About using grace notes for the top notes of the broken octaves: it’s easier than playing Czerny’s equal 16ths, and it obviates a specific technical training Czerny offers. But it’s something more than a shortcut; it also thins the RH texture a little, providing some relief from the noteyness, which is welcome when playing this study for ballet class.

1st Version: skipping 6/8 in broken 8vas, 8 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #35 1st Version Audio

This a performance of #35 in one of many possible shortcut arrangements, for which I provide a score. I use only half of Czerny’s material. I introduce a measure-long cadence between mm 7 and 8 to finish the first 8-bar phrase. In the second 8-bar phrase I repeat Czerny’s LH mm 9 and 11 up an octave. At Czerny’s m 23 I stay in the dominant for the turnaround to the “A section” and the home key of A Major, and then rewrite the final 2 bars of the repeat of mm 1-7 so as to cadence in the tonic. I’ve introduced some dotting in the LH accompaniment to inflect the rhythm a bit.

Op 299 #35 1st Version Score

The springy, skippy personality of #35 makes it a piece that might be suitable for centre petit allegro, but in working out an extended arrangement of the material of #35 you come up against the issue of repetition and sameness which is especially problematic in Op 299. Each study in Op 299 retains its note values (16ths and 32nds) and texture throughout, and while repetition and sameness in the accompaniment for ballet combinations is actually required, the repetition and sameness of Czerny’s velocity-for-velocity’s-sake will become unwelcome after a couple minutes. In my 2nd version of #35 I tried a number of strategies to get around this problem.

2nd Version: extended 6/8 Rondo, 36 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #35 2nd Version Audio

This is a re-imagining of #35 as an extended rondo in which Czerny’s five sections function as episodes. The main devices for this re-imagining is the elimination of Czerny’s 16th note texture, making the 8th note the principle note value, and the introduction of dottings to promote the skippiness. I’ve recast Czerny’s third section (his mm 16-23), presenting the RH in quarter- and eighth-notes and the LH as simple waltz accompaniment, and I’ve expanded his arpeggio passage (mm 32-35)–all this to provide contrast and variety. I’ve introduced some counterpoint to Czerny’s RH, and other artificial effects with my DAW software.