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Czerny Op 335 #18, 2 Versions

If you want to use this long and difficult study for ballet class you can take several shortcuts, among which is using only Czerny’s RH material and reducing his tempo. But the kind of piece it is--a brilliant impromptu with swift swirling RH scales and arpeggiation over a very thin LH harmonic support--limits its use for class. And the slower your tempo the more you’ve got to fill out the LH with some sort of rhythmic and musical interest to keep things from sounding plodding and lame.

I found that re-notating each of Czerny’s measures into two 6/8 measures, making his sextuplets regular 16ths, and projecting the triple-time rhythm results in a very useful piece of music for ballet class, one of those fast waltzes that support a range of combinations from degages at the barre to petit allegro in centre.

Op 335 #18, 1st Version: fast 6/8 with brilliant running RH 16ths, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance of my fast waltz arrangement of #18, for which I supply a score. I keep it a RH study and don’t use Czerny’s closing material (mm 40 ff), and I play the dotted quarter @90, a tempo that makes Czerny’s RH much easier to play. I’ve created a ternary form, doubling back to Czerny’s opening after m 23 and re-harmonizing the closing phrase so as to end in the tonic. I use only mm 1-23 (less than half of Czerny’s piece), but it’s still a fairly substantial little waltz, and with repeats could well serve a centre combination.

#18, 2nd Version: Fantasy Impromptu in running sextuplets, 32 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance realized with DAW sofware and intended as homage to the whimsical fantasy of #18. I’ve ignored Czerny’s pedagogical program of “legato and half-staccatto,” and present the sextuplets shimmering in and out of focus. The big change is my creation of a filled out LH part to intensify Czerny’s harmonies (eg, his mm 33-7) and to open the musical landscape more widely across the keyboard. As much as I wanted to realize the free, impromptu character of Czerny’s writing I want my arrangement to be clearly countable for possible use in ballet class. So I unlocked the enjambment at mm 23-4 and marked off some cadences to keep the unfolding structure clear. In particular, I introduced a third voice to underpin the counts of mm 40-7 when both hands are playing scales a third apart.

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