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Czerny Op 335 #28, 3 versions

Chorales, anthems, hymns can all be very useful in your repertory. You can play them slowly and softly for adagio, for pas marche across the floor, or loudly and majestically for grands battements. There’s always a grim possibility of offending the religious sensibilities of someone in class, so I avoid well-known hymns. On the other hand Bach’s chorales, while explicitly liturgical, have a special secular status as great music (for their harmonizations and voice-leading) and as the bases for his chorale prelude masterpieces.

Czerny’s organ-postlude-like #28 seems to have no definite religious associations, and you can make it sound many different ways, especially if you don’t restrict yourself to tempo and dynamics, but work out ways to turn the lower voices into an arpeggio accompaniment to the soprano line. One possible problem: Czerny’s second phrase begins on the third beat of m4. You may hear the third and fourth beats of m 4 as an anacrusis to m 5, but I hear the third beat as “one” (a downbeat) and analyze m 4 as an enjambment of phrases one and two. In either case, I feel there’s ambiguity in finding the “one” of the second phrase, and I see this as a problem for which there are different solutions.

Op 335 #28, 1st version: 4/4 “Postlude,” 8 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of #28 slowed to the tempo of a typical 4/4 adagio, the quarter @75. I provide a score to show my solution to the problem with the start of Czerny’s second phrase: I lengthen his cadence at m 4, start his second phrase with m 5, and cut beats 2 and 3 from his m 8. My score is only of the first 8 measures, since the rest of my performance is Czerny’s text (in the B section I take the second ending), except that I telescope his 2-bar cadence into one bar.

With an arpeggiated accompaniment for Czerny’s soprano line, and bringing the tempo back up, #28 becomes an energetic Song Without Words. I worked out two such accompaniments, one in 16ths and one in triplet 16ths, and I provide a score for both. For convenience I write out in full the accompaniments for the first phrase of Czerny’s tune. For the rest of the piece I indicate with chords the voicings I’ve chosen for the accompaniment in 16ths and triplet 16ths. But I’ve also written out in full the accompaniments for Czerny’s 5th phrase (mm 17-20). I wanted to preserve the robust bass sequence Czerny introduces in mm 17-18, and that required a change of pattern for the inner voices. My preferred distribution between the hands is indicated in the staffs: notes in the treble are played with the RH, and notes in the bass are played with the LH.

Op 335 #28, 2nd version: 4/4 con moto Song Without Words, 8 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of #28 with the 16ths accompaniment.

Op 335 #28, 3rd version: 4/4 con moto Song Without Words, 8 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of #28 with the triplet 16ths accompaniment. I feel the triplets arrangement is more effective because with 6 notes to the quarter you can fill out more of Czerny’s harmonies and more of the lower range of the piano to intensify the swirl and power under Czerny’s majestic tune.

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