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Czerny Op 335 #25, 3 Versions

Czerny has a knack for “in the Italian Style” of his time--specifically the rhythmic, if not melodic, styles of Donnizetti, Bellini and Rossini. For me, #25 is like the orchestra accompaniment to a bracing Rossini aria. As an octave study it is, of course, virtuoso work at Czerny’s tempo, but as tuneful music his RH 16ths work very well in single notes, and with a light LH opera-orchestra accompaniment you get not just a shortcut arrangement but an effective comic “bel canto aria.”

Op 335 #25, 1st Version: allegro 4/4 “bel canto aria,” 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of my “comic aria” arrangement of #25, for which I provide a score. In the RH I’ve simplified the cadences and introduced more rests to make Czerny’s line sound more plausibly vocal (I imagine Czerny’s treble staff material as a dialog between singer and woodwinds.) In the B section Czerny’s pedagogical agenda focuses mostly on scales which I’ve reduced in favor of his more melodic material, and after his turnaround at m 16 I recapitulate his A section in the form of a Rossini-like “crescendo” ending in the tonic.

There are many ways to turn #25 into a 3/4, but I found it unfeasible to try to turn Czerny’s 4/4 measures into 3/4 measures by eliminating a beat, given the amount of melodic content and harmony (in the B section) that has to be condensed. It’s far easier to extend each four-16ths group into a six-16ths group and turn each measure into a 12/8 which can then be renotated as 6/8 (2 counts to the measure) or 3/8 (one count to the measure). This results in a lot more repeated-note groups--where Czerny has 2 there are now 3--so something has to be done to keep them from becoming grating.

Op 335 #25, 2nd Version: allegro 6/8 “bel canto aria,” 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance of my 6/8 arrangement of #25, for which I supply a score. I’ve tried to project the repeated-note figures with a broad range of dynamics that keeps them from sounding too mechanical, but mainly I’ve displaced some of the repeated notes themselves a step or more away from the others. I’ve kept Czerny’s metronome marking, but since there’s now half-again as much time in every measure of his material the piece has a more relaxed pace.

Recasting #25 in 6/8 meant half-again as much time in each measure; specifically, cadences are twice as long as in Czerny’s original. This gave me the idea of slowing down my 2nd Version and making it into a big “Man’s Variation” where, typically, there are regular full-stop cadences for The Man to do some kind of spectacular jump-turn: “Watch this!"

Op 335 #25, 3rd Version: grand allegro “Man’s Variation,” 24 sets of 8-count phrases.

This is a performance of my “Man’s Variation” arrangement. I’m not supplying a score, since the arrangement is simply my 2nd Version slowed down, and you can figure out how you want to power-up things either for classroom grand allegro or an actual man’s variation. I’ve added theatrical flourishes every 16 counts that bring the phrases to a dramatic “Watch this!” full-stop, and I’ve doubled the RH line with octaves.

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