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Czerny Op 740 #40: 2 Versions

As a companion study to #39 which drills triplet RH thirds this study drills the technique of triplet RH triads, and, as with other such studies, my approach is to go around the technical challenges and fashion a piece that preserves at least some of the musical attractiveness of Czerny’s writing. In this context my arrangements of Czerny’s studies 38, 39 and 40 may be grouped together: all three involve radical simplifications that result in toccata-character pieces with a thin, light texture quite different from what Czerny wrote.

Op 740 #40, 1st Version: quick, light 12/8, 16 sets of 8

This is my simplified arrangement of #40, for which I provide a score. I use barely more than a page of Czerny’s material, creating a simple ternary structure by recapitulating Czerny’s A section and reharmonizing his closing to end in the tonic. My principle simplification, as with #39, is to ignore Czerny’s LH (the bass staff) and distribute his RH between both hands. This results in music limited to the middle-to-high range of the keyboard, so i’ve moved repeats and some of “my” LH down an octave to widen the color. For convenience I’ve notated the piece in 12/8.

Among various ways of turning a 12/8 into a 3/4 is re-accenting each two triplets in the measure as six 8ths and then rebarring as two 3/4 measures. This doesn’t work well for #40; Czerny’s harmonic rhythm and melody line have a “grain” powerfully resistant to rebeaming his triplet 8ths and rebarring his four-beat measures into 3/4. And that’s a rule of thumb with 12/8 pieces: the more harmonic and melodic movement in the measure, the less readily the measure can be recast in 3/4.

An obvious alternative is to cut a beat from each measure, making it 9/8, and then renotating it as 3/4 with triplet 8ths on each beat. It turns out this process can be mechanically applied to #40 with quite pretty results.

Op 740 #40, 2nd Version: quick, light 9/8, 8 sets of 8

This is my performance of my 1st Version of #40 recast in 9/8. I followed the recipe of simply lopping off the last beat of each measure. With the return of my A section I vary the top voice. I supply a score to show my strategies for expanding the piece to 8 sets of 8.

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