• rudyapffel-czerny

Czerny Op 740 #7, 4 Versions

Updated: Mar 3

Although the music of #7 is slight you should make room for it in your repertory. The RH figure is quite easy. Like its companion #8, #7 drills thumb and forefinger. And there’s no need for Czerny’s break-neck speed. You can inflect it with energy and rhythm to create engaging support for the sharp execution of degages, piques, frappes, etc.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, Czerny favors a compositional texture that presents a repeated note pattern played by what may be called the “working” hand and a spare rhythmic and harmonic support played by what may be called the “supporting” hand. This is analogous to what dancers call the “working” leg and the “standing” leg. My usual practice is to fill out Czerny’s “supporting” hand for the sake of color and rhythmic interest, and I recommend such process to anyone using #7 for ballet class.

Op 740 #7 1st Version: quick 4/4 repeated-note study, 16 sets of 8

Op 740 #7 1st Version Audio

This is my performance of a shortcut arrangement of #7 which uses barely more than the first page of Czerny’s material and maintains his RH note pattern throughout. I supply a score so that you can see my approach to the task of filling out the “supporting” hand.

Op 740 #7 1st Version Score

The unchanging note pattern and steady quarter-note pulse make this study suitable for what I’ve come to call a “costume” for another piece of music.

Op 740 #7, 2nd Version: Carmen’s “Habanera” in the costume of Czerny Op 740 #7, 16 sets of 8

Op 740 #7 2nd Version Audio

This is my performance of the Habanera in the costume of Czerny’s #7, for which I supply a score. Incidentally, when I play the Habanera for class I usually rebar Bizet’s anacrusis and start Carmen’s line “L’amour...” on the downbeat. Decades of experience have convinced me that it’s not worth the frustration and confusion many dancers experience when I play Bizet’s phrasing correctly (especially at the bridge “Prends garde a toi”). But for my Czerny library I’m presenting the Habanera as Bizet wrote it.

Op 740 #7 2nd Version Score

As I’ve explained, in class I like to pair my “one-pagers” for handedness: if at the barre, say, I play one that works the RH I want to try to play another for the next exercise that works the LH. I know that some accompanists will find this fussy, but it’s just a game I like to play. Some of my one-pagers pair so neatly that I can combine them into one piece. This is the case with #7 and #8 which have not only the feature of length and handedness (one for RH, one for LH), but also share the same note values, rhythm, tempo, meter and key (major and relative minor).

Op 740 #7, 3rd Version (with #8): light, brisk march, 16 sets of 8

Op 740 #7, 3rd Version (with #8) Audio

This is my performance of the first half of my one-pager of #7 combined with the same amount of material from #8. The only problems to work out is how you want to modulate out of #7 and into #8 and what key you want to end in. I supply a score which shows my solutions.

Op 740 #7, 3rd Version (with #8) Score

It will be noticed in my 3rd Version that with the appearance of #8 in the LH I continue to use #7’s note pattern in the RH melody. This preserves some of the musical identity of #7 while it plays #8’s melody creating a kind of “hybrid” of #7 and #8. It’s sometimes possible to combine two studies in a process of “hybridization,” to play them, that is, not consecutively but simultaneously. If you require the two studies of such a “hybrid” to be in coherent tonal harmony the process of experiment and discovery can be useful and entertaining (though not for everyone).

There are several different processes for combining two studies into tonal counterpoint, but the simplest way to combine #7 and #8 is either to play #7’s LH accompaniment in the note-pattern of #8’s LH, or to play #8’s RH melody with the note-pattern of #7’s RH.

Op 740 #7, 4th Version (with #8): light, brisk march, 16 sets of 8

Op 740 #7, 4th Version (with #8) Audio

This is my performance of a hybrid arrangement of #7 and #8, for which I provide a score. It is simply my 1st Version of #7 with the LH played with the note-pattern of #8 (octave + neighbor-tone). Except for that note-pattern, the musical identity of #8 is completely erased, but as you can see in my 3rd Version and as I’ll show later (see commentary to #17) there are more elaborate manipulations which allow each study to maintain a great deal more of its identity in counterpoint with the other.

Op 740 #7, 4th Version (with #8) Score

It must be noted that this and other of my “hybrids” aren’t well suited to ballet class. They all have very dense, complicated textures. In the case of my 4th version both hands are playing continuous 16ths and the effect can become deadening. I offer my “hybrids” as experiments and research and entertainment.


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