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Czerny Op 299 #14, 2 Versions

Though of an entirely different character (to the degree that there is difference of character among these studies) #14 is virtually identical with #11: the same (just about) length; the same binary structure; a B section that becomes harmonically adventuresome; material within the first 16 measures (equivalent to #11’s first 8 measures) that easily resolves into an AABA form. Anything you did in the way of shortcutting #11 you can do with #14. The difference is that instead of #11’s tripping triplets Czerny gives us a busily decorated tick-tock.

As so often, Czerny’s “velocissimo” metronome marking (quarter at 116) might get you some giggles in ballet class, but if you want something more you should slow it down. I play the quarter @80, and it’s good for battues and picques. It’s ok for frappe’s given the pick-up and the strong-beat melodic line, but it should be pointed out as a general caution to the accompanist about a fast figure made up of many notes: such a figure doesn’t really represent musically what the dancer is doing in frappe; what the dancer is doing is much more unadorned, much more stark, even violent (though exquisitely controlled). It’s not easy or pleasant to play this piece with starkness and violence (however exquisite); you need to play the RH strong beats ff with the little finger, and the mordent figure is the opposite of “unadorned.”

Slowed down even more, #14 can serve jetes, but I think the mordent figure sounds more and more trite the slower you go…

Op 299 #14, 1st Version: bright tick-tock, 16 sets of 8

This is my performance of a shortcut arrangement of #14, for which I supply a score.

Op 299 #14, 2nd Version: little march, 16 sets of 8

This is my arrangement of #14 realized with DAW software, using all of Czerny’s material but interpolating new melodic voices.

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