you know when like eric clapton, mark knopfler, or john mayer step in front of their rhythm bands during a live performance of layla, sultans of swing, or your body is a wonderland so they can totally shred on some bluesy electric guitar riff for like 15+ minutes in front of a frenzied stadium crowd with bic lighters and cell phones aloft? well, that’s called a cadenza in the classical world. when writing things like piano or violin concertos, composers will often pen the entire solo part, but sometimes they just leave the damn spot open for the virtuoso to play whatevs. ol’ beavey asked mr. jon kimura parker what he had in store for tonight’s mozart piano concerto #20, and he graciously replied:
I’ve written my own cadenzas for both 1st and 3rd movements; however, it would be more accurate to call them a pastiche of sorts. I’ve heard many recordings over the years, so bits and pieces of other cadenzas are in there. For example, the last few measures of Beethoven’s cadenza in the 1st movement is so spectacularly well-written that it seemed pointless to try to do anything differently. I also like to leave a little room for some improvisation, as a nod to how Mozart himself would have treated them. I think the composer would have approved!
a mozart/parker/Beethoven mash-up?! dear god, the beavs cannot wait for tonight’s oregon symphony season opener. hope to see you there!