The cadence of Mozart's cadenzas

Mirka, Danuta (2005) The cadence of Mozart's cadenzas. Journal of Musicology, 22, (2), 292-325. (doi:10.1525/jm.2005.22.2.292).


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The cadenzas Mozart supplied for his piano concertos are designed to close with a standard schema that conforms to the cadence as it was understood by musicians of the 18th century and described by such writers as Heinrich Christoph Koch. Melodic ingredients included the note of preparation, the cadential note, and the caesura note. The cadential schema may be elongated and manipulated in diverse ways, and in extreme cases, as witnessed in Mozart's practice, manipulations of the schema may yield sophisticated strategies that encompass several phases of approaching closure.

Since the cadence of the cadenza served as a crucial means of communication between soloist and orchestra, its playful handling by the soloist presumably elicited amusing behavior among the orchestral musicians as they prepared to enter for the end of the final ritornello. This factor contributed a certain visual dimension to the communication between soloist and audience, in accordance with the aesthetic of witticism ascribed to the cadenza by 18th-century writers.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1525/jm.2005.22.2.292
ISSNs: 0277-9269 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Music
ePrint ID: 45968
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 01 May 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:20

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