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Czerny Op 299 #40, 3 Versions

To wrap things up Czerny ends Op 299 with a remarkable sonata-allegro movement. What’s remarkable to me is the complexity of #40’s structure among the other binary and ternary form studies, and the way Czerny presents the sonata form’s contrasting musical characters while maintaining the pedagogical agenda of continuous 16th triplets.

It’s a great workout for both hands (in a collection where, with a few exceptions, the workout is in only one hand), and, as is so often the case, the music gains value played slower than Czerny’s metronome marking. In the two recordings I know of Riisager’s “Etudes “ the quarter is @85. The sparkling exuberance of Riisager’s arrangement should be an inspiration to the work you put into it and how you play it for class.

With its complex but regular structure there are many possible shortcuts to getting the piece quickly into your repertory, but I think you should arrange to find a way to present the main contrasting themes of #40: the tumultous opening theme (mm 1-8), the sweetly pensive answering theme (mm 25-32), and the resolute closing theme (mm 33-40).

Op 299 #40, 1st Version: springing 2/4 in tumultous triplets, 16 sets of 8

This is my performance of a shortcut arrangement of #40. I use about half of Czerny’s material, and I supply a score so you can see where I cut. I lighten Czerny’s thick chord writing (a general practice particularly with his LH stride).

As with other of Czerny’s 2/4 pieces with triplet figuration #40 can easily be recast in 6/8 by re-beaming and re-accenting, and it makes a delightful petit allegro for centre. Passages where Czerny changes his 16th note figure to a “neighbor” pattern (eg mm 5-8, mm 13...) should be underpinned with a LH accompaniment that keeps the 6/8 meter clear.

Op 299 #40, 2nd Version: Petit Allegro, 16 sets of 8

This is my performance of my 1st Version recast in 6/8 by accenting Czerny’s triplets as regular 16ths and filling out the LH with two more 8ths in each measure. In the tremolo sections (mm 25-32, etc) I discovered that playing the slow trill as a turn isn’t very difficult and also contributes strongly to the triple-time pulse. I supply a score.

Op 299 #40, 3rd Version: Saltarello, 28 sets of 8

This is a reimagining of #40 as a saltarello in the spirit of the opening movement of Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony. It was relized with DAW software for multiple players. I use all of Czerny’s material to create a piece extended for centre use. I’ve brought the tempo up from Versions 1 and 2 (though still well under Czerny’s). The principle devices are the dotting of Czerny’s triplets for, alternately, saltarello and tarantella rhythms, and the interpolation of typical Italian melodic gestures and quotations.

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