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Czerny op 335 #27, 2 Versions

I find this one of the most charming studies in the collection. It embodies everything I’ve come to love about Czerny the composer. The tunefulness, of course--Czerny seems to be at his most tuneful in moderate-to-quick duple meters. The learnedness: this is a study in cantus firmus counterpoint. For me #27 has a muted fantastical character, an innocent marching song going on its way with busy, self-absorbed 16ths swarming around it.

The basic task of #27 is that which Moscheles (Czerny’s contemporary and compatriot) sets in his op 70 #3, and which Chopin made infinitely more challenging in his op 10 #2 where the 16ths are in the top voice (RH’s 3, 4, 5). Moscheles’ and Czerny’s studies are far easier with the running 16ths in the middle voice instead of the top, but both composers call for breathless speed. I don’t think Moscheles’ dramatically stop-and-start study can well survive being slowed down too much, but Czerny’s--a compact perpetuum mobile--definitely can. With the quarter @ 120 (instead of 152) #27 becomes a so-called “toy march”--with its rich color and innocent swagger it seems to anticipate the specialty Tchaikovsky would make of the genre.

With a ready-made structure, the only question with #27 is to decide which measure to drop in the B section so as to come out even. An obvious solution is to drop m 24. Another solution is to repeat m 24 as a cadence and drop mm 25-26. And there are others…

Op 335 #27, 1st Version: marching song in cantus firmus style, 8 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance of Czerny’s study at a tempo considerably under his metronome marking. Apart from the preparation, the only change I’ve made is to shorten Czerny’s quarter notes in the cantus to 8ths and similarly inflect the other voices to introduce a more jaunty character. I think this is important at my slowed tempo in order to keep the piece from sounding sluggish.

Op 335 #27, 2nd Version: marching song in cantus firmus style, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a synthetic arrangement of #27. My DAW software allowed me to highlight the color and swagger, moving voices to different registers and shaping them dynamically in ways that aren’t possible in a 2-hands presentation. I’ve extended Czerny’s piece to a length suitable for a centre combination by repeating his marching song up a major 6th and having his coda fade-to-vanish.

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