Czerny Op 740 #2, 2 Versions
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
This is another study useful not so much for its slight music but for its workout for both hands. As I’ve mentioned in earlier parts of this commentary, Czerny’s compositional process usually highlights a busy “working” hand and a relatively static “supporting” hand. Here, in #2, you can see that the hands trade off duties as “working” hand presenting the sweeping arpeggios in 16ths and as “supporting” hand providing light harmonic support on the downbeats. Generally I fill out Czerny’s “supporting” hand to provide a fuller rhythmic texture for ballet class.
The triple meter of #2 can be projected different ways at different tempos--a light waltz, ronds de jamb en l’air, a fast, swirling 3/4... What you do with the “supporting” hand will be crucial to the kind of 3/4 you want.
Almost all of #2 resolves into 4-bar units and it’s very easy to fashion squared-off versions of different lengths. But you’ll notice that the 4-bar units of mm 1-16 are best telescoped to 2-bar units so as to preserve the larger structure of 16-bar units for the piece as a whole.
Op 740 #2, 1st Version: Ronds de Jamb en l’Air, 8 sets of 8
This is my performance of #2 with the tempo slowed to the quarter @135, and the “supporting” hand realized as a light waltz accompaniment. I supply a score. I “name” some of my arrangements after particular ballet steps not because the arrangement is perfectly or exclusively suited to the step but because the visual look of a dancer doing the step will sometimes come to mind as I’m working on the music. But of course we play the same piece of music for many different steps and combinations and alter it accordingly.
To reshape #2 into a useful 6/8 for ballet class you can simply re-notate each bar as a 6/8 and adjust the “supporting” hand material to project the 2-beats-to-a-bar rhythm.
Op 740 #2, 2nd Version: quick 6/8, 16 sets of 8
This is my performance of my 1st Version as a quick 6/8. I supply a score in which it will be seen that I applied a completely mechanical process of re-notating each of my 1st Version’s 3/4 measures as 6/8. It will be seen that I avoided the resulting instances of hemiola (eg Czerny’s mm 4 and 8), probably not really necessary for class, but done for the sake of absolute clarity. The only “composing” involved was realizing the “supporting” hand material.