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Czerny Op 335 #12, 2 Versions

Czerny spells out his polyphony with rigor here: the ties, rests and note-stems make the 4 voices clear to the eye, and the fingering makes it (hopefully) clear to the ear. He presents his material in 4-bar groupings, each grouping a different 4-voice pattern. For me the most distinctive grouping is mm 1-4, the rest of them fairly similar to one another. This is often the case with Czerny’s polyphonic studies in Op 335: the initial material has strength and distinction which the rest of the study doesn’t maintain. For me this was certainly the case with #7.

As with #7, I decided to fashion a 2-part invention in ternary form out of Czerny’s #12.

Op 335 #12, 1st Version: 4/4 2-part invention, 8 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of my 2-part invention version of #12, for which I provide a score. I use only about half of Czerny’s material, and I use his strong 4-bar opening as the architectural unifier of the invention. I changed the shape of Czerny’s opening 8th note pattern so as to have the top voice start on the downbeat. I introduced considerable counterpoint at the expense of Czerny’s legato polyphony, and I switch the hands in repeated passages, all in the interest of the 2-part “invention” process. The piece can be played in a wide range of tempos, dynamics and character. I aimed for a quick 2/4 feel and spirited character, and so halved Czerny’s note values and rebarred the piece accordingly.

There are two basic procedures for recasting a 4/4 measure into a triple time measure: drop a beat to get one 3/4 measure, add two beats to get a 6/4 measure and rebar it to get two 3/4 measures. Likewise, to recast a 4-note grouping into triple time, drop a note or add two.

Op 335 #12, 2nd Version: 3/4 2-part invention, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of my 1st Version of #12 recast in 3/4 and for which I provide a score. To each four-note group of my 1st Version I added two notes, then rebarred each six-note group as a triple-time measure. (The piece can be notated in 3/8, 6/8, 3/4...) Given the slow harmonic rhythm and static note patterns my process makes for a long, starkly simple piece of music, but it can be played at many different tempos. My performance is the quarter @165, and I’ve tried to give it a bit of lilt.

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