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Czerny Op 740 #28, 3 Versions

As noted elsewhere in my commentaries, a teacher may set a combination in a very slow three with each beat subdivided, amounting to a 3/2, but that’s rare. If you use #28 as written it will more likely be for a 6/4. And again, a 6/4 is rare in ballet class; it will almost certainly be counted as two counts of 3/4. Conveniently there are several ways to re-bar and re-notate Czerny’s 3/2 measures to get useful triple- and duple-time pieces from this powerful and demanding study. A difficulty is mm 6-8 where Czerny’s note groupings strongly sound the 3/2 rhythm. I think you have to radically rewrite those measures to cut across the grain of Czerny’s meter. Less problematic (and more fun) is the opportunity to flesh out the RH with more melodic interest.

Op 740 #28 1st Version: Grand Battement music, 8 sets of 8

Op 740 #28 1st Version Audio

This is my performance of #28 in a one-pager arrangement (actually a 2/3-page; I’m using only Czerny’s mm 1-8). Czerny’s bass line and harmonic progression closely follow the opening of the theme of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in c minor (WoO 80) and that gave me the idea of fashioning a RH melody that alludes to Beethoven’s theme. I supply a score.

Op 740 #28 1st Version Score

An obvious and drastic simplification of #28 is to divide Czerny’s LH note pattern between two hands, specifically the descending broken triads. You can get great power and speed, but you have to figure out a way to project the counts either with a melody over the ascending arpeggio, or accents in the divided descending broken triads, or both.

Op 740 #28 2nd Version: short 3/4 Adagio, 4 sets of 8

Op 740 #28 2nd Version Audio

This is my performance of #28 reshaped into 3/4 for a short Adagio of the “thundering” type (see #14). The arrangement will also support those fairly rare occasions when the teacher sets grands batements in three counts: battement - tendu - close. I use Czerny’s mm 1-16 and impose a wholesale re-write of mm 9-16 to cut through his 3/2 grain. But the main feature is my simplifying Czerny’s descending broken triads, distributing them between both hands. The rising arpeggios remain in the LH (they’re not difficult) and the RH is given a declamatory motif to establish the counts. I supply a score where you can see that I fudge the bottom of the descending broken triads to give the RH time to get back up for the grace note nudge into the next measure.

Op 740 #28 2nd Version Score

Op 740 #28 3rd Version: short Pirouetts Practice, 4 sets of 8

Op 740 #28 3rd Version Audio

This is my performance of a “Pirouettes” arrangement of my 2nd Version, for which I provide a score. The arrangement is essentially the same as the Adagio but with the tempo increased and the RH filled out. Given the continuous busy arpeggiation the arrangement is best reserved for short combinations at the barre rather than something in the centre for continuous groups.

Op 740 #28 3rd Version Score

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