A few years ago, one of my students learned the Joachim cadenzas while learning Mozart Concerto No. 5. They were a good challenge, and I consider them to be classic. Beside that, I'm pretty comfy with those old Joseph Joachim cadenzas. Comfy playing them, comfy teaching them. They are the cadenzas I learned as a child, and they are some of the most commonly-used cadenzas for those works.
But I've decided it's time to step out of the comfort zone.
Now she is studying another Mozart concerto, No. 4, and I thought, why not try something new?
Frankly there are a lot of other cadenzas out there for Mozart 4. To name a few: in the Barenreiter edition we're using, we have Joachim and also Leopold Auer, plus the editor Martin Wulfhorst. With some digging on the Internet and elsewhere, one can also find cadenzas by Eduard Herrmann, Sam Franko, Fritz Kreisler, Ferdinand David, Henri Marteau, Emile Sauret, Nathan Milstein, and Jascha Heifetz. To get a little more modern, there is Robert Levin, plus performers such as Maxim Vengerov, Nigel Kennedy, James Ehnes and Augustin Hadelich.
Have any women written cadenzas for the Mozart violin concertos? The only one I could find was Rachel Barton Pine, and actually, this was the one for which I have the music, because Rachel has made all her cadenzas (for the Mozart concertos, Berg, Brahms, Clement, Beethoven, Paganini...) readily available in her The Rachel Barton Pine Collection. I took a look, and it seemed pretty do-able.
"How about learning a cadenza by a female musician, one who is actually alive today?" I asked my student. She liked the idea, and over the summer, she started learning it. One more thing that makes Rachel's cadenzas accessible is the fact that she played them in her recent recording of all the Mozart violin concertos. A student can listen to the cadenza, played by the very artist who wrote it!
It's going to be a challenge, not just for my student, but for me, to learn new cadenzas at the same time as she does. But I certainly like the idea; I think it brings these pieces alive, to use a cadenza by a living performer. I'd love it if cadenzas written by other current performers were as easily accessible.
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