October 26, 2012 at 7:50 PMIn the course of writing up our interview with the French violinist Renaud Capuçon, I discovered something about the beloved Brahms Violin Concerto: people have written a cajillon cadenzas to this piece! I knew that there were a number of them, beyond the original cadenza by the concerto's dedicatee, Joseph Joachim. But I didn't realized there were more than 20!
I compiled a list: Leopold Auer, Joshua Bell, Adolf Busch, Ferruccio Busoni, George Enescu, Hugo Heermann, Jascha Heifetz, Nigel Kennedy, Franz Kneisel, Fritz Kreisler, Jan Kubelik, Henri Marteau, Nathan Milstein, Franz Ondricek, Rachel Barton Pine, Max Reger, Ruggiero Ricci, Edmund Singer, Donald Francis Tovey, Eugène Ysaÿe. Add to this Raphael Klayman...
This week I'd like to explore these cadenzas by asking you to vote on a few of them, and I've provided more links here, so you can explore more. Tell us your thoughts! Also, please let us know if I have left anyone off this long list! Surely I have, so please add to it, if you know more of these cadenzas to the Brahms. Under the vote are some examples to help you decide:
Joseph Joachim cadenza, played by Hilary Hahn
Fritz Kreisler cadenza, played by Christian Ferras:
Leopold Auer cadenza, played by Jascha Heifetz (cadenza begins at 16:10):
Rachel Barton Pine cadenza, played by Rachel Barton Pine: Listen here.
Sixteen cadenzas, all played by Ruggiero Ricci! Underneath is a list with where you can find each one:
18:03 Cadenza by Ferruccio BUSONI (1'46")
19:49 Cadenza by Joseph JOACHIM (2'50")
22:47 Cadenza by Edmund SINGER (2'40")
25:34 Cadenza by Hugo HEERMANN (1'38")
27:20 Cadenza by Leopold AUER (3'07")
30:35 Cadenza by Eugène YSAŸE (3'02")
33:44 Cadenza by Franz ONDRICEK (2'41")
36:33 Cadenza by Franz KNEISEL (2'12")
38:53 Cadenza by Henri MARTEAU (2'10")
41:08 Cadenza by Fritz KREISLER (2'42")
43:59 Cadenza by Donald Francis TOVEY (2'44")
46:51 Cadenza by Jan KUBELIK (2'20")
49:17 Cadenza by Adolf BUSCH (1'48")
51:13 Cadenza by Jascha HEIFETZ (2'46")
54:06 Cadenza by Nathan MILSTEIN (2'15")
56:28 Cadenza by Ruggiero RICCI (1'50")
As to my own, well, when I eventually publish and perform it, I'll leave it to others to decide whether they like it. One thing I do in it which is a little different, is that I incorporate a passge or two from the opening orchestral tutti that never made it into the violin part. I mean, why not?
One of my former teachers, Arturo Delmoni, told me an interesting story, that when he auditioned for Heifetz, he played the Brahms and thought that he'd make an extra good impression on the master by playing Heifetz' own cadenza for him. But it is extremely difficult. Arturo sweated and strained and finally got through it, panting for air. Heifetz looked at him unsympathetically and said "I didn't write it to be easy!" But he did accept Arturo into his class.
I like Kreisler's because even though it is thematically based on Brahms' material it feels more personal and sentimental, giving it a feeling of breaking away from the rest just long enough to offer the listener a refreshment.
at the 17:50 mark here
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