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Czerny op 335 #31, 2 Versions

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

This nocturne is much closer in style to Chopin than to Czerny’s 10-year-older contemporary John Field, but it’s the John Field formula: a RH melody in long notes with bel canto fioriture, and a steady LH arpeggiated accompaniment, the harmony moving with each measure. The problem of monotony in such nocturnes is skirted if the tune is a good one and if the fioriture is thrilling--after all, bel canto isn’t just meant to be beautiful; it’s meant to be thrilling.

Op 335 #31, 1st Version, 3/4 Nocturne in Romantic style, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

Op 335 #31 1st Version Audio

This is my performance of my arrangement of #31, for which I provide a score. My primary concern arranging this study was with moulding a solid and easily heard structure for a long plies or ronds de jamb a terre at the barre. I cast Czerny’s material into 16 phrases of 8 counts each, evening-out irregularities and doubling phrases to create a rondo structure. I used three blocks of Czerny’s material: mm 1-16 (A section), mm 17-24 (B section), and mm 25-31 (C section), and I created a recapitulation-coda in the relative major (to avoid the unrelived dolente of Czerny’s ending). As can be seen from the score, my expansion of this material involves little more than repeating 4- and 8-bar phrases, and I’ve stuck to Czerny’s notes except in those places where i created new material (eg, turn-arounds at the repeats, the recap and coda).

My second concern with arranging this study was with the bel canto decoration. My 1st version sticks to Czerny’s decoration, except where I’ve introduced new melodic material to fill out the structure.

A technical note: a much easier fingering, while perhaps not academically “correct” can be substituted for Czerny’s mm 23-31 RH: the trills can be played with 2-3 while the alto melody is played with the thumb and the soprano melody with the little finger.

Op 335 #31 1st Version Score

Op 335 #31, 2nd Version, 3/4 Nocturne in florid Romantic style, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

Op 335 #31 2nd Version Audio

This is a synthetic arrangement. I’ve kept the structure of my 1st Version, but used the repeats to explore new keys and variations of Czerny’s melodic material. I’ve doubled the melodic line and bass, and moved the inner voices across wider territory to create a fuller, 2-piano sound. What I found most interesting in the process of creating this idealization of Czerny’s nocturne was exploring the possibilities of plugging-in a more Chopin-like fioriture.

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