Looking for cadenzas for Mozart Violin Concerto no. 3 in G

Edited: November 20, 2021, 10:42 AM · Hello everyone! I am going to be performing Mozart Violin Concerto no. 3 this year with a small ensemble. I am looking for interesting cadenzas to try with the piece. The edition that I have (Henle) comes with some cadenzas by Kurt Guntner which are nice but I would like to explore some of the other options that exist. It seems like the Franco cadenza is often performed, but I haven't found the sheet music yet. I think it is very beautiful. Does anybody know where it is? Are there any other interesting cadenzas anybody would recommend?

My professor encouraged me to think about composing and performing my own cadenza. I have never done this, but it could be an interesting challenge for winter break : ) Does anybody know of any good resources with information about composing cadenzas for the Mozart violin concerti?

Thank you!

Replies (5)

November 20, 2021, 12:13 PM · Sam Franko and Ysaye
November 20, 2021, 12:37 PM · While the Sam Franko cadenza is very popular, I encourage students who are looking at the Mozart 3 to consider the Franz Beyer version as well, as it is more in line with the difficulty level of the rest of the work.

As for composing your own cadenza, this is an activity best done with the support of someone who can walk you through the process of selecting the themes to use, identifying the structure of the key changes, and deciding which technical elements to incorporate. You could start with a few ideas then consult with your teacher for help?

Edited: November 20, 2021, 12:46 PM · Agree with your teacher's recommendation to write your own. As well as being a good compositional exercise, it makes you engage with the motifs of the particular movement as your cadenza will be largely based on these. First call is to look at the surviving cadenzas Mozart wrote - the Sinfonia Concertante and a select few of the piano concertos which survive (he would have mostly have improvised hence why they don't all exist). They are certainly not without virtuosity, but perhaps they aren't as lengthy and self-centered as some later 19th and 20th century candenzas which are commonly played.

If not writing your own, I recommend Robert Levin's cadenzas (which are available to buy). There are several options for each movement, and he really writes with a complete understanding of Mozart's style (have a look at some of his YouTube videos on piano improvisation in Mozart)

Edited: November 20, 2021, 2:44 PM · Thanks for the suggestions! I didn't realize Robert Levin had so many fantastic informational videos about improvisation. I was already a fan of his playing.
November 20, 2021, 7:32 PM · I suspect that the cadenzas that Mozart wrote down were first performed by him as improvisations.

Another good cadenza for M3 is by Carl Flesch. It's harder than the Franko though. Joshua Bell has a wonderful cadenza on his recording of M3 but I have never seen a transcription of it anywhere.

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