• rudyapffel-czerny

Czerny Op 299 #40, 3 Versions

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

This is the biggest and longest of the Op 299 studies, and a great workout for both hands. Don’t be put off by Czerny’s metronome setting; as is so often the case this study actually gains musical value taken at a much slower tempo—say, the quarter @ 85. That’s the tempo I’ve heard in 2 recordings of Riisager’s “Etudes”, and the sparkling exuberance of his arrangement should be an inspiration to the work you put into it and how you play it for class.

It’s a substantial piece structurally, analyzable as sonata-allegro: mm 1-40 is an exposition of 2 contrasting themes and a closing theme; mm 41-64 is a development; mm 65-end is a recapitulation with a new closing theme and coda.

There are many possible shortcut arrangements, but it would be well to make one that presents Czerny’s two contrasting textures.

1st Version: bright 2/4 with continuous running triplet 16ths, 16 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #40 1st Version Audio

This is a performance of my shortcut arrangement of #40, for which I supply a score. I use about half of Czerny’s material (Riisager uses even less–just up to the first repeat–but that’s obviously a matter of what the choreographer Harold Lander needed from him). I think that at the slower tempo it’s well to introduce acciaccaturas to the top notes of Czerny’s Opening RH descending figure. This invests the music with snap, analagous to Riisager’s prominent use of the snare drum in his orchestration.

Op 299 #40 1st Version Score

As with other of Czerny’s 2/4 pieces with triplet figuration #40 can easily be recast in 6/8. Passages where Czerny changes his 16th note figure to a “neighbor” pattern (eg mm 5-8, mm 13 ff) should be underpinned with a LH accompaniment that keeps the 6/8 meter clear.

2nd Version: light, bright 6/8, 16 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #40 2nd Version Audio

This is an arrangement of my 1st version projecting a 6/8 meter and adapting the LH accompaniment where necessary to keep the meter clear. I supply a score. In the contrasting “tremolo” passages I discovered that playing the slow trill as a turn isn’t very difficult and also contributes strongly to the triple-time pulse.

Op 299 #40 2nd Version Score

3rd Version: Saltarello, 28 sets of 8 counts

Op 299 #40 3rd Version Audio

This is a reimagining (using DAW software) of #40 as a fast saltarello (or, loosely, a tarantella). I use all of Czerny’s material to create a piece extended for centre use. I’ve brought the tempo up from Versions 1 and 2 (though still well under Czerny’s). The principle devices are the dotting of Czerny’s triplets for, alternately, saltarello and tarantella rhythms, and the recasting of Czerny’s long-note melodic material as typical Italian melodic gestures.