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Czerny Op 740 #5, 3 Versions

You might project this dry, rather abstract study with great speed and a lot of sustain pedal for gossamer chaines music, but you’ll get far more use of it if you let it be robust, solidly forte and not too legato nor too fast. Above all, you have to establish the beat and keep it established, and that’s hard to do with both hands moving in the same direction in the same note values in long scales. What quickly happens is the teacher starts calling out the counts over your playing, or, worse, stops you and asks for “something clearer.”

My strategy to make the rhythm super-clear was to have the hands trade off the 16th’s passage work and alternate supporting rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment. As I worked out my ideas I discovered that such treatment of Czerny’s material yields many different types of short pieces well suited to ballet class.

Op 740 #5, 1st Version: Tick-tock music, 8 sets of 8

This is my performance of a one-pager (actually only the first 12 bars) of #5. At about half the speed Czerny asks for, my arrangement has absolutely nothing to do with his pedagogical agenda; it’s meant as light, clear and somewhat comic music for class. I supply a score to show my ideas for the alternating hands and accompaniments.

With a few repeats and across a wide range of tempos, my 1st Version can be expanded to any number of pieces suited to ballet class.

Op 740 #5, 2nd Version: Piques, 16 sets of 8

This is my performance of my 1st Version with the quarter @130 and expanded with a repeat and recapitulation of the A section. The score of my 1st Version is the basic material, but I recommend that in the first iterations of A and B the cadences be reharmonized in the dominant since the repeats start in the tonic.

Having imposed such high-handed simplification and abbreviation on Czerny’s #5 I made big a 2-piano version of it to explore possibilities at the other extreme.

Op 740 #5, 3rd Version: short, wild galop, 16 sets of 8

This is my idealization of #5, mm 1-24, as a wild galop and realized with DAW software. I’m at Czerny’s tempo, and have expanded his material with repeats. The main intrusion is my providing rhythmic and harmonic support to the parallel 10ths.

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