Czerny Op 740 #13, Single Version
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
In his studies Czerny usually devises a note pattern for one hand or the other and then iterates it continuously from beginning to end. So does Chopin, so does Liszt, so does Schumann. For that matter, so do Beethoven and Mozart (if you think of the C minor variations and “Ah vous dirai-je Maman” as little “studies” strung together as variations sets). Studies that train the fingers to play a keyboard instrument typically have a texture of continuous repeated note patterns in one or both hands.
Rarely, but strikingly, a composer creates a keyboard study that is more “gestural” than “textural.” Schumann’s Variation VIII in Op 13. Beethoven’s Variation XVIII in WoO 80. “Declamatory” is a possible description, but I prefer “gestural” as a contrast to “textural.” The difference is something you can see on the page: instead of a dense web of black filling the measures there is, literally, open space; instead of a continuous stream of notes across the staff there are interrupting rests. I make a point of this because Czerny’s very few “gestural” studies are interesting to listen to and can make dramatically supportive accompaniment for a ballet combination. For #13 he presents two gestures: delicate RH flourishes in sextuplet 32nd’s and increasingly ferocious 2-handed rolled chords splashing up and down the keyboard. It‘s a character piece in the form of a whimsical, rather manic quick march.
Czerny’s material is squared off and ready for ballet class except for the extra measure he supplies for the turnaround to the A section (m 24) and the enjambment at m 40--both matters easily remedied.
Op 740 #13, Single Version: quick march, 32 sets of 8
This is my performance of #13 as written except for my remedying the extra bar and enjambment issues.