How Gilles Apap's new cadenza illuminates Mozart, via Bakhtin

Kawabata, M. (2014) How Gilles Apap's new cadenza illuminates Mozart, via Bakhtin. ECHO: A Music-Centered Journal, 12 (1) ISSN 1535-1807 (online)


According to a recent article by Alex Ross in the New Yorker, the once defunct art of classical improvisation is in revival mode; his emphasis was not the expected ornamentation-savvy Baroque specialists but the more surprising field of cadenza-updates in the performance of Classical and Romantic works, a field led by Robert Levin (Mozart Piano Concertos), Will Crutchfield (Donizetti arias), and Joshua Bell (Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto). Here Ross could also have included original Mozart violin cadenzas by Leonidas Kavakos and Rachel Barton Pine. Curiously excluded from the immediate context of this revival is Gilles Apap’s Mozart, which Ross describes in parentheses as “full-on cadenza craziness.” He places it in a separate category along with Schnittke’s cadenza for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. What Apap’s and Schnittke’s cadenzas share that the others do not is explicit intertextual referencing: Schnittke quotes snippets of Violin Concertos by Brahms, Bartok, Berg, and Shostakovich, thereby stepping out of the bounds of Beethoven’s musical language, while Apap quotes Mendelssohn and ventures several steps further, out of the bounds of classical music altogether and into other musical styles. ******* This article is available open access at the 'Official URL' link below. *******

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