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Czerny Op 335 #47, 3 Versions

Czerny wrote many studies, large and small, training repeated note technique in the RH. I use several from different opus #’s for class, and when I practice the studies I duplicate the repeated note figure in the LH (in contrary motion) to get the technique in both hands. But as Czerny’s headnote makes clear, #47 is also very much a study for the LH.

As for the structure of #47, the regular phrases make it ready for use except for the need to cut 8 bars from the B section so as to have 4 sets of 8 bars (the A section is repeated). For my 3 versions I cut mm 29-36 and move with no difficulty from the c#º7 of m 28 to the start of the V7 linking material at m 37 that leads to the recapitulation.

Czerny’s metronome setting is the 4ter @120, which is an odd note value to use for 6/8. I wonder if the quarter note is a misprint, and that the dotted quarter is what Czerny intended. At a dotted quarter the A section is extremely fast, and the repeated notes rather comical. The B section is far more demanding, and then the recapitulation and coda (starting m 41), with the LH skips and 8vas and thick chords, is not only pushing the limits of possibility, but is, I think, unattractive music. At the same time, the quarter @120 seems sluggish, and I can’t believe that’s what Czerny had in mind for this material...

But there’s a bigger problem with this study (and others like it): the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic interest is slight; the whole point of it as music is texture, a continuous patter of repeated 16th notes. As good as the workout is for your fingers it’s not very appealing to listen to. My three versions are attempts to address this problem.

Op 335 #47, 1st Version: quick 6/8 with RH in continuous repeated 16ths, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of Czerny’s study at a compromise tempo (dotted quarter @ 100), and with the B section’s thick texture thinned, and an effort made to soften the staccatto notey-ness by allowing the accompaniment’s different voices to sing out a little. I rewrite Czerny’s m 49 (the beginning of the coda) substituting for the F-A third at the start of the measure the expected D (fingering it from the D of the measure before was not a problem).

Op 335 #47, 2nd Version: skipping 6/8, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of #47 in a simplified arrangement, for which I supply a score. I’ve changed Czerny's RH 16th-note figure to an easily manageable 8th-note figure, and have eliminated the big LH skips and chords. Not only is this arrangement far less challenging than Czerny’s original, I think that its more varied rhythm and lighter texture make it, well...a little easier on the ears.

Op 335 #47, 3rd Version, moderato 2/4 with running RH triplets, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is my performance of my 1st Version recast in 2/4, accenting the RH sextuplets as triplets and dropping the third and sixth beats in the LH. I supply a score in which it will be seen that I’ve made the LH much simpler for this version, and offer it as a possible shortcut through the difficulties of Czerny’s original.

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