Violin Concerto, Op. 15 (1939)
I. Moderato con moto — Agitato — Tempo primo
II. Vivace — Animando — Largamente — Cadenza
III. Passcaglia: Andante lento
Orchestre de Paris
Britten fanboys Prokofiev, Berg, and even a little Beethoven simultaneously.
J. S. Bach
Sonata Nº 1 in B minor for violin and harpsichord, BWV 1014
Giuliano Carmignola, violin
Andrea Marcon, harpsichord
It is believed that the six sonatas for violin and keyboard were composed circa 1719-1720, during Bach’s employment at Cöthen. At this time he had come into possession of an exceptionally fine harpsichord offering new possibilities from a technical standpoint, and was eager to try it out in what had previously been largely unexplored chamber and solo formats. It is interesting indeed to think of what a tremendous influence on the future of keyboard music both solo and collaborative is owed to a Kapellmeister’s new toy (and ultimately to a gleam in the eye of an engineer)—and yet that has often proven the way of it.
thetideraises-everyship-deactiv said: Hi, do you have any advice on writing your own cadenza to a concerto? My teacher wants me to write one for the 1st movement of Paganini violin concerto 1, and I have no idea where to start or how to begin.
Since Paganini generally improvised the cadenzas in many performances of his own works, it becomes necessary (or at least appropriate) to write one’s own cadenza or select one by any of a variety of performers/editors. Writing your own cadenza could be an immensely rewarding experience, albeit maybe a frustrating one at first if you’re not accustomed to composition.
Remember that of course the primary function of a Paganini cadenza, in keeping with the original practice, is going to be shock-and-awe.
That taken under advisement, sound construction of cadenzas often relies on a basis in thematic material that the audience has already heard; it then becomes your job to use that material in surprising ways. So, for instance, you might look for ways to develop and juxtapose the opening maestoso march-like motive from the orchestra against motives from the dolce second theme. Look for ways to modulate in unexpected directions (sequences, common tones, and so forth), and places in which you can inject virtuosic passagework in such a way that it enhances the flow of the music. Find little motives from the movement and spend some time improvising with them, playing around.
Of course it goes without saying that the cadenza should end idiomatically and in such a way that the conductor/pianist can be sure of how to proceed! Also, one wants the listener to feel that a complete statement — and one that fits more or less organically within the context of the movement as whole — has been made.
Check out other cadenzas written for Paganini, and also take some time to scan cadenzas from elsewhere in the Romantic repertoire, violin and otherwise. Good luck, and have fun! If you come up with some ideas and would like a second eye, I’d be happy to look at them from the standpoint of composition — your specific knowledge of violin technique certainly would far exceed mine, though.
Anyone else with experience in these matters — your thoughts?