List of Works || Cadenza

Cadenza (1986)


Duration: 6 minutes

First Performance: 10 January 1988, Toronto; CBC Broadcast, James Campbell

A cadenza is a virtuosic passage filled with embellishments, typically found near the end of a concerto movement or da capo aria. According to an eighteenth-century keyboard treatise (D.G. Türk, Clavierschule, 1789), the cadenza should give the impression of improvisation and “ordered disorder.” In Cadenza, Weinzweig maintains this essence of a traditional cadenza, and extends its spirit, virtuosity, and musical variety to this independent musical work.

Divertimento No. 4 for B-flat clarinet and string orchestra (1968) includes an exciting cadenza at the end of the second movement—a cadenza characterized by random, often explosive statements and sudden silences. According to Weinzweig,

Cadenza is an extended re-composition... . The basic cadenza has been left intact but is now considerably extended through the insertion of contrasting metered segments from movements one and three [of Divertimento No. 4] that release the tension of its introspective and random moods.

Cadenza is a virtuosic showpiece for the clarinet, with large leaps, fast scalar passages,  contrasting dynamics and articulations, and extended technique.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn