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Pauline Lerner

Violin Cadenzas for Beethoven's Birthday

December 16, 2009 at 10:00 AM

December 16 is the anniversary of Beethoven's birth and a good time to listen to different cadenzas written for the first movement of his Violin Concerto.

First is the original cadenza as played by Miron Polyakin, one of Leopold Auer's great students.


Then comes the well known cadenza by Joachim, played here by Schneiderhan.


This is another well known cadenza, written by Fritz Kreisler and played here by Dmitri Berlinsky.


Next is the Schnittke cadenza played by Gidon Kremer. It is distinctively different from the previous two.


Now for something really different. The Cardenas' cadenza, played here by Anke Schittenhelm, is rife with discords.


Joshua Bell, who is well known for writing his own credenzas, has written one for the Beethoven Concerto, but I couldn't find free samples to listen to on the Web.

The musicians with the ability and the gumption to write their own cadenzas for the Beethoven concerto have personalized and enriched Beethoven's masterpiece.



From Michael Avagliano
Posted on December 16, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Very cool, Pauline! If I could be so bold as to add one more -- Beethoven's cadenza, transcribed from the piano version of the concerto and performed by Schneiderhan. It's interesting to see how far afield he goes from his own music!


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 16, 2009 at 7:16 PM

 Thanks, Michael.  That was very different.  I'm not sure I would have recognized it if you hadn't told me what it is.  I suppose that some of the difference is due to the intermediate use of a piano version.

From Charlie Caldwell
Posted on December 16, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Wow! I had never heard of Miron Polyakin before. That was great violin playing and a beautiful cadenza. Schnittke's cadenza was really, really clever and Kremer played well as always.

Thanks for sharing, Pauline!

From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 2:59 AM

The first time I heard the Kremer recording, I was driving the car, and almost veered off the road!  Startling, to say the least.  I'll always love the Kreisler cadenza the most, and his wonderful recording.  Thanks for the interesting links.  (Smile)

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 4:31 AM

Cool! Happy birthday Beethoven wherever you are!!! Truly in my favorites...

From Corwin Slack
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 6:42 AM

 Carlos Miguel Prieto is conducting the orchestra and not playing the violin. The violinist is Dmitri Berlinsky.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 17, 2009 at 7:02 AM

 Corwin, thanks for the correction.

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