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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

Op 335 #12 1st Version Audio

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.

Op 335 #12 1st Version Score

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

Op 335 #12 2nd Version Audio

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.

Op 335 #12 2nd Version Score

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It’s well to go into some detail analyzing my approach to this first study of Op 335; the analysis can serve as illustration of my approach to the rest of the studies in this and the other collections

This is certainly very modest music, and at Czerny’s deliberate tempo you have to work to keep it from sounding banal. But the clear 2-part counterpoint and the character of calm simplicity make it we

This is great frappe music. The energetic staccato and the 8th note anacruses in the A Section powerfully energize the downbeats--the “strike” of a frappe--and in my arrangement I’ve dotted the chords

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