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Thread: Cadenza example but with orchestra still playing

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Default Cadenza example but with orchestra still playing

    There are many cadenza example where the orchestration stop and soloist shred over the given time.

    But any example of piece where composer write a blank accompanying orchestration and in hope the performer will do cadenza over it? Eeither in full piece or just partial. Why this idea less found in classical music?

    Something similar in jazz where the composer only written the chord progression and hope the melody will be the improvisation part.

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    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Maybe because classical music, and cadenzas within classical music in particular, have a freer beat/pulse than other musical styles. Jazz, being in part derived from dance music, will have a more consistent beat. Cadenzas are featured in jazz but in the same way as in classical music wih just the soloist improvising alone.

    Generally speaking in jazz, the rhyhm section keeps a steady beat whilst comping for the soloist to improvise over. The nature of a cadenza makes it very hard for an orchestra to react to tempo changes the soloist wishes to make. I suppose if there are no tempo fluctuations or they are arranged beforehand then improvisation could well feature as much in classical music with an orchestra as in jazz, but imagine how long it'd take for everyone to take their turn playing solos.

    Also the difference in mindset between a classical and a jazz musician might be the reason here. Classical musicians are used to either playing what they're told or, if they know their stuff, can improvise, but it's more of a 'free' improv. A jazz musician is used to improvising over a chord progression which restricts their note choice, so they play only what either goes with or clashes against the harmonies to create an interesting melodic line. I'm sure classical musicians could learn to do this, but what incentive do they have when most of their existing repertoire doesn't feature this method of improvisation. The closest form would be improvising variations on a theme.

    Or just try some fusion. Youtube is blocked at work, but try Lotus on an Irish Stream by Mahavishnu Orchestra.

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Elgar's violin concerto.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Elgar violin concerto, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade are good examples. In each, there's either a single note being played for emotional value or a single instrument playing who can follow the soloist in their cadenzic shenanigans (or both).

    I like the effect, and I really wish more composers would employ it...
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Argus >> Yes, I understand that the orchestra will be impossible to follow soloist's freestyle improvisation. But actually I am looking for more simple idea, where composer already lay down a fixed orchestration and only the soloist part is blank up to him/her to do the so called cadenza.

    Elgar's violin concertos (hmm..I don't have this one)? I will listen to it again to hear this example, as well others. Any other concertos ? (but not vocal/opera piece, cadenza is quite common there , I read).
    Last edited by jurianbai; Mar-30-2010 at 13:19.

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    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    If you don't know Elgar's v.c., you don't know one of the top ever written. Look for Menuhin-Elgar, Heifetz and/or Sammons recordings. Mi personal choice is Heifetz.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taneyev View Post
    If you don't know Elgar's v.c., you don't know one of the top ever written. Look for Menuhin-Elgar, Heifetz and/or Sammons recordings. Mi personal choice is Heifetz.
    I've heard the Menuhin/Elgar and Heifetz recordings. I must say I prefer the Menuhin recording, not because the composer is conducting (I actually somewhat dislike Elgar's own recordings), but because there is more abandon from all involved that makes it a genuinely visceral experience.

    Definitely agreed on this being one of the great violin concertos, though!
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    in the past I think I picked Sibelius' CD over Elgar. but surely i will take it in, but maybe not the old Menuhin era recording. I like newer generation for violin like Hahn, Chang, Vengerov (he is not playing again due to shoulder injury??). but perlman should be fine also.

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