Czerny Op 740 #4, 3 Versions
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
This long and very pretty “en carillon” piece makes an effective centre petite allegro at tempos well under Czerny’s, and a workout for both hands. But even at reduced speed it’s a great challenge to endurance. Happily, with its regular phrases it can be easily cut and shaped for short things at barre.
The structure of #4 is Czerny’s usual ternary + coda, and he follows his usual compositional practice presenting a harmonically and melodically simple A section (mm 1-28) and a contrasting, harmonically adventuresome B section (mm 29-62).
A cautionary note concerning the irregular phrasing of mm 5-8 and mm 13-16: I’ve played this study for decades and in my experience it’s not only dancers and teachers who get thrown by Czerny’s three-dotted-quarters-in-a-row, losing the count and the start of “one” at m 9 and then at m 17; I myself lost the count when hearing it played by someone else. One solution is for everybody to just “stick to the script,” do the combination in the counts set, don’t listen too hard, keep counting in your head... Another solution is to rewrite...
Op 740 #4 1st Version: short, light 6/8 in “carillon” style, 8 sets of 8
This is my performance of a short-cut arrangement of #4--a “one-pager”. As you can hear, it’s simply Czerny’s mm 63-94 (his recapitulation of A) and a final cadence.
Op 740 #4 2nd Version: medium length petit allegro 16 sets of 8
Op 740 #4 2nd Version Audio
This is my performance of #4 shaped to a medium length petit allegro according to the following recipe:
1) Czerny’s A section is 28 measures long; I’ve added another four measures to square it off, playing mm 17 and 19 three times each.
2) The beginning of Czerny’s B section, m 29, is potentially ambiguous: the 4-bar phrase starts with a dotted quarter in the RH, but when it’s repeated that dotted quarter sounds like a cadence (a count “8” instead of “1”). Again, if everybody “sticks to the script” nobody will get lost, but my inclination is to smooth out ambiguities. Accordingly, I drop the first beat of m 29 and rebar Czerny’s B section so that it starts on the second beat of m 29.
3) The first two phrases of the B section (Czerny’s mm 29-37) are repeated a 4th up, bringing the harmony back to Bb, the tonic.
4) The recapitulation of my A section is played as-is until the last two bars, where the harmony is simplified to V-I and the final cadence.
Op 740 #4 3rd Version: extended petit allegro “en carillon,” 32 sets of 8
This is my homage to Czerny’s #4 realized using DAW software. I’m playing nearly at Czerny’s tempo and almost exactly what he wrote except for the small tweakings I introduced to create my 2nd Version. Czerny’s coda is four bars longer than I can use, so I cut mm 107-110 and made m 106 a full stop cadence. I also lightened the texture of Czerny’s coda by making his LH chords broken triads.