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Czerny Op 335 #7, 2 Versions

A certain amount of Baroque-sounding music and Baroque-sounding counterpoint, if not too dense or complicated, has always been welcome in the classes I’ve played for. The 2-part pattern of the A section of #7 (very familiar in Bach) has immediate appeal. The technical challenge Czerny sets is to combine legato long notes with staccato 16ths in the same hand, but in my arrangement I took a simplifying shortcut. I recast #7 as a 2-part invention in binary form.

The first thing I discovered in working out an arrangement strictly limited to two voices was how lovely the A section can sound in strict 2-part, how Bach-like, when played both at Czerny’s tempo and at tempos considerably slower with the half-notes filled in with decoration, in the manner of French Baroque. The second thing I discovered was how much work it was going to be to resolve the B section into strict 2-part writing and relate it to the A section to create a strong binary architecture.

By “architecture” I mean the strategies of repetition, imitation and variation that relate one section of a piece of music to another section. Czerny is often not much interested in architecture. In my arrangement of #7 I wanted to strengthen the relationship between Czerny’s A and B sections, so I worked into the B section the opening material of the A section. There are of course many other possible ways to strengthen the architecture of #7’s binary form.

Op 335 #7, 1st Version: Quick 4/4 2-Part invention, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance of my 2-part arrangement of Czerny’s material at Czerny’s tempo and without embellishment. I provide a score.

Op 335 #7, 2nd Version: Slow 4/4 2-Part invention, 16 sets of 8-count phrases

This is a performance of the score of my 2-part invention with embellishments ad libitum. I’ve slowed the tempo to a typical 4/4 adagio, but by adjusting the tempo and ornamentation you can make it useful for a range of combinations.

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