Gould Cadenza to Beethoven PC 1

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Teresa B
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Gould Cadenza to Beethoven PC 1

Post by Teresa B » Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:12 pm

Hey you Beethoven fiends out there...

I just heard by serendipity a rendition of LvB's Piano Concerto no 1 recorded by Lars Vogt. I missed some of it, as it was on my radio in the car. But I heard the cadenza to the 1st movement. Lo and behold he played not any of the 3 that Beethoven wrote, but one by (I think) Glenn Gould.

It was (needless to say) extremely "Bachian" with impressive fugal motifs. I think Vogt did a good job, but this cadenza seemed out-of-place and weird to me. Maybe I'm too accustomed to hearing the usual?

Any thoughts ? I'm sure there have been threads on how far to depart from a composer's style in a cadenza, etc. but just curious. (And jbuck, if you read this, which is worse--playing a cadenza that Beethoven would never have sanctioned, or omitting a repeat? :) )

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Werner
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Post by Werner » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:44 pm

I think there are trends asnd styles in cadenza writing, as well as anything else. For one extreme, who remembers Artur Schnabel's "atonal" cadenza for, I think I remember, the Mozart D Minor concerto?

Many years ago, I visited my friend Adrian Aeschbacher in Zurich, and he played me a tape of his performance with Eugen Jochum and the Bavarian Radio Symphony of the Mozart K 467 concerto, done live in 1956 for the Mozart anniversary. It was a lovely performance until it came to the cadenza. Who wrote it? I asked him. "BUSONI!" he answered, quite proudly. I guess he liked it better than I did - and, tactfully, I remained quiet.

This season, I seem to have sensed a different trend in hearing Emanuel Ax to K 482 with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra. Playing his own cadenza, he proved it's possible to have something valid to say while staying in Mozart's idiom - something I seem to remember from Andsnes in Haydn, too in a performance last ytear.
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jbuck919
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Re: Gould Cadenza to Beethoven PC 1

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:18 pm

Teresa B wrote:Hey you Beethoven fiends out there...

I just heard by serendipity a rendition of LvB's Piano Concerto no 1 recorded by Lars Vogt. I missed some of it, as it was on my radio in the car. But I heard the cadenza to the 1st movement. Lo and behold he played not any of the 3 that Beethoven wrote, but one by (I think) Glenn Gould.

It was (needless to say) extremely "Bachian" with impressive fugal motifs. I think Vogt did a good job, but this cadenza seemed out-of-place and weird to me. Maybe I'm too accustomed to hearing the usual?

Any thoughts ? I'm sure there have been threads on how far to depart from a composer's style in a cadenza, etc. but just curious. (And jbuck, if you read this, which is worse--playing a cadenza that Beethoven would never have sanctioned, or omitting a repeat? :) )

Teresa
With Beethoven, one always plays Beethoven's cadenzas. Does any sane person in the world think there is anything possibly superior?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Werner
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Post by Werner » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:41 pm

Now there is a fine point, John.

Sure, who can match Ludwig for inspiration or genius? And so everybody plays it safe and, for one thing, does not revert to the multitude of cadenzas written since the concerti were created, or improvise on his/her own. After all, Beethoven even wrote a cadenza for the piano version of the violin concerto - even including a bit of percission (no, not by the pianist!)

But in his own time, there was that very strong factor of leaving the cadenza as a spot where the soloist was free to improvise on the work with his own ideas. That would seem to leave room for any soloist to play his own, or another pre-composed cadenza. How would Ludwig feel about that? Unfortu ately, he's no longer around for us to consult. So the public and performers have to get along on their own views of the subject.
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:54 pm

No less a Beethoven specialist then Wilhelm Kempff wrote his own cadenzas to the Beethoven Concertos, and recorded them. While many find the cadenzas that Glenn Gould concocted for the Beethoven First Concerto weird, in their own way they sort of work, more-so his first movement effort then that for the third. If any one can figure out which cadenza Josef Hofmann plays in the Ormandy led Beethoven Fourth Concerto recently released on the Marston label as volume 8 in their complete Hofmann. Series I’d like to know. I thought I knew them all but not this one. Brahms was quite fond of writing cadenzas for others concertos, Bach D minor, Mozart 17, 20 and 24, as well as Beethoven’s G Major Concerto. As pointed out Busoni was another who liked to do his own cadenzas and the last time I looked there were three volumes of those that he did for Mozart Piano Concertos alone. Not content to let matters rest there he also did the two Flute and Clarinet concertos as well as providing cadenzas for the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos. Hummel wrote very good cadenzas for at least seven Mozart Concertos and Mr. Beethoven himself provided very effective Cadenzas for the Mozart Concerto No. 20, K. 466. Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) almost forgotten today was considered one of the most brilliant musicians of his day wrote cadenzas to just about all of the Mozart Piano Concertos. Clara Schumann tried her hand with K.466 as did Mendelssohn and Charles Valentin Alkan.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:02 pm

I might trust Hummel to write idiomatic cadenzas. Even Brahms is too far gone on the Romantic side. (It should also be pointed out that he did not write the cadenza of his own violin concerto--Joachim did.) I'm not unaware of these things, but I am aware that the world is precious lacking in anyone who can provide a sufficient cadenza for any of Beethoven's concertos. And not only he, but Mozart committed his own cadenzas to writing for a reason, and it was not because Gould, Werner, et al. can be trusted to do a decent job of it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:10 pm

Peter Schenkman wrote:No less a Beethoven specialist then Wilhelm Kempff wrote his own cadenzas to the Beethoven Concertos, and recorded them. While many find the cadenzas that Glenn Gould concocted for the Beethoven First Concerto weird, in their own way they sort of work, more-so his first movement effort then that for the third. If any one can figure out which cadenza Josef Hofmann plays in the Ormandy led Beethoven Fourth Concerto recently released on the Marston label as volume 8 in their complete Hofmann. Series I’d like to know. I thought I knew them all but not this one.

Peter Schenkman
It wasn't the Saint-Saens was it? It was quite a popular cadenza in that era and even Rubinstein retained it for his recording with Beecham a decade later

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:02 pm

Interesting posts, everyone! I personally didn't care much for the Gould cadenza, mainly because I thought it didn't fit the mood of the piece very well. (I didn't hear the 3rd movement, unfortunately.)

Jbuck, you are obviously the purest of purists when it comes to Beethoven! When I think (whoa, stop the presses) about the cadenzas LvB wrote for his own concertos, I recall: The big cadenza for the PC 1 is just crazy (I do love it, though), and seems to be a big joke on everybody. The shorter cadenza for PC 4 is quite weird and wonderful. And then you get to PC 5, with NO cadenza.

Perhaps Beethoven wanted his cadenzas to be played, and by the time he got to no 5, he was sick of even allowing the possibility of some damn pianist making something up.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Peter Schenkman
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Post by Peter Schenkman » Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:27 pm

The Saint-Saens I know from the Rubinstein/Beecham recording and that’s not it but a good guess anyway.
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Post by Lance » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:42 pm

For those interested, the Lars Vogt (piano) performance of Beethoven's PC #1 with the Glenn Gould cadenzas referred to by Teresa B appears on EMI 56266 and also includes Beethoven's PC #2 (with Beethoven's cadenzas). Sir Simon Rattle conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Personally, I rather enjoyed hearing the Glenn Gould cadenzas. As we all know, the cadenzas could be supplied by the pianist himself, the composer's own cadenzas, or those of someone else. Some pianists even improvise on the spot, such as the fortepianist, Mark Levin [on DGG], and every time he plays the cadenzas, they are never the same! This is the place for the pianist or other instrumentalist to "show off" his virtuosity or own compositional skills.

We've discussed this one before, but the most incredible cadenza writing I've ever heard appeared in the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Gidon Kremer using the Schnittke. While it is way out of balance with the style of the Beethoven's writing, it remains one of the most memorable performances of the work I've ever heard on records.

You surely admit that if the author of the cadenzas isn't indicated on records or in concert performances, it's quite thrilling to hear one you don't know and it's bothersome until you can find out. It gives the piece another dimension. I'm all for it, personally. Beethoven, Mozart, and others provided the "standard" cadenzas for those who wanted to follow the score to the letter.

I can't recall right at the moment [I want to say it's pianist Vasso Devetzi], but I've heard some Haydn and Bach piano concerti with non-conventional cadenzas that I thought were musically quite extraordinary and didn't alter the basic musical thought.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:15 am

Lance wrote:You surely admit that if the author of the cadenzas isn't indicated on records or in concert performances, it's quite thrilling to hear one you don't know and it's bothersome until you can find out. It gives the piece another dimension. I'm all for it, personally. Beethoven, Mozart, and others provided the "standard" cadenzas for those who wanted to follow the score to the letter.
The world is lousy with talent. And then there is Beethoven.
I can't recall right at the moment [I want to say it's pianist Vasso Devetzi], but I've heard some Haydn and Bach piano concerti with non-conventional cadenzas that I thought were musically quite extraordinary and didn't alter the basic musical thought.
And would you approve of a performer inserting his own cadenza in place of Bach's in the Fifth Brandenburg?

Beginning basically with Bach, great composers insisted on writing out their own ornamentation because it was already perfectly obvious to them that no one else was getting it right. Even Handel and Mozart occasionally failed to do so, and we must weep over the loss.

Edit: Here is an exception. In the Passacaglia, Bach evidently left open room for an improvised cadenza near the end of the fugue. I have only heard this realized once to any satisfaction (and then it was sensational)--in an old LP by Daniel Chorzempa.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Peter Schenkman » Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:25 am

Such intolerance, there is room for more then one point of view even from the great Beethoven. Some find his cadenza to K. 466 somewhat overpowering! As Lance pointed out…” As we all know, the cadenzas could be supplied by the pianist himself, the composer's own cadenzas, or those of someone else…:and let’s leave at that.

Peter Schenkman
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