Czerny Op 299 #7, 7 Versions
Updated: Jul 4
In a collection with few easy LH studies #7 is an inviting candidate for your repertory. Czerny’s four basic 16th-note patterns (the initial drumming figure, the triad figure, the triad + turn figure, and the alberti figure) are easy to master and not only strengthen your left hand but are also fundamental in training the handshape (“griffe”) and the neural map of the keyboard that over the years becomes fine-tuned to the point that your LH infallibly lands in the key and inversion you want without your having to look.
With practice I find Czerny’s tempo within reach, but #7 can be very serviceable in ballet class at much slower tempos.
I made seven arrangements of #7, and taken together they conveniently illustrate the basic procedures of my “Arrangements and Re-imaginings.”
The structure of #7 is very regular apart from the enjambment of episodes between mm 27-8 and the extension of the coda, so the piece can easily be expanded by repeating episodes and reordering them. By the same token, the regularities of #7 allow it to be abbreviated many ways, and that’s my most basic procedure: the “shortcut” arrangement—using only part of a study so as to get something quickly into my class repertory, something that has at least some of Czerny’s musical substance and technical usefulness.
Op 299 #7, 1st Version: light, bright 4/4 with continuous 16ths in the LH, 8 sets of 8
This is my performance of my shortcut arrangement. It’s much slower than what Czerny asks for, and it uses only about half of his material. I provide a score.
If you go to the trouble of learning a study it’s well to get a maximum of use from it for class by being able to play it not only at different tempos but also in different meters. I find the work of arranging a study in a new meter not just educational but entertaining, and the results can often be surprisingly attractive.
There are several recipes that can be applied mechanically to a score to change the meter, and one of the simplest is to change a 4/4 bar to 3/4 by dropping a beat. Czerny makes things especially easy in #7 since he starts his tune on a rest; if you drop the first beat of each bar the 3/4 arrangement practically writes itself (though you have to do a little work with m 8). Of course Czerny’s coda starting m 32 calls for a different recipe.
Op 299 #7, 2nd Version: light, bright 3/4 Song with continuous 16ths in the LH, 8 sets of 8
This is my performance of my 1st Version of #7 recast in 3/4. I provide a score.
A shortcut version of #7 is useful for quick repertory, but it’s very short so you should create a version of the whole study for class. All it takes is squaring-off the material—that is, assembling the material in phrases of 8 counts.
Op 299 #7, 3rd Version: quick 4/4 with continuous 16ths in the LH, 16 sets of 8
This is my performance of #7 with the tempo picked up a bit and making use of all Czerny’s material. I’ve structured the arrangement in ternary + coda form to make it completely squared-off for ballet class. The problem area is of course the turnaround from B to A, mm 30-31: it’s a measure short for the needed 8-count phrase. I supply a score to show my solution.
As I’ve said, Czerny’s coda to #7 (mm 32 ff) can’t readily be recast in 3/4 by simply dropping the first beat of each measure. For my 4th Version, which uses all of #7, I follow more complicated recipes for recasting the material in 3/4.
Op 299 #7, 4th Version: light 3/4 with continuous 16ths in the LH, 16 sets of 8
This is my performance of my 3rd Version of #7 recast in 3/4. I provide a score where you can see my different strategies for getting different measures into 3/4, and you can see as well as hear where I’ve taken liberties with Czerny’s melody.
We can distinguish #7 as a compositional type: RH melody with LH accompaniment. If you’ve got #7 and other studies of the type in your repertory you can always get extra use from them by putting a new melody in the RH, adjusting the LH harmonies where needed.
Op 299 #7, 5th Version: Rossini’s “Non piu mesta,” 32 sets of 8
This is my performance of #7 with Rossini’s “Non piu mesta” (Cenerentola) substituted for Czerny’s RH melody, and the LH accompaniment harmonies adjusted to Rossini’s tune. I present it as a set of variations + coda in the “brilliant style” of early 19th Century salon music, and I supply a score. I play this arrangement for class across a range of tempos, the quarter from about 140-170, but for this performance I’m playing each variation a little faster for a bit of theater.
Op 299 #7, 6th Version: Verdi’s “La Donne e Mobile,” 8 sets of 8
This is my performance of Verdi’s “La Donna e Mobile” (Rigoletto) with the note patterns of #7 as accompaniment. As with my 5th Version, I was interested in having both hands trade off playing Czerny’s LH material.
As I said in my introduction to this library, I have no training in arranging, and I could never afford the financial cost of a recording studio. What has made my Czerny project possible is the availability of easy-to-use digital audio workstation software (DAW). This technology allows me not only to record and edit my solo performances, but to create, perform and edit multi-player performances. The possibilities for “Arrangements and Re-imaginings” are endless.
Op 299 7th, Version: light, bright 4/4, 16 sets of 8
This is my arrangement of my 3rd Version of #7 for multiple players. Using DAW software I introduce into Czerny’s melodic material imitative counterpoint and distribute the voices across the keyboard with Czerny’s LH 16th note patterns a murmuring accompaniment.