Creativity and Cadenza!


Creativity and Cadenza.

I was thrilled this morning when I listened to pianist Andre Previn conduct and perform the piano Concerto #24 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mr. Previn is now 85 years old, and he’s had a career in Jazz, film, in classical music, as a pianist, and as a conductor and as a composer.

What I found amazing this morning, was how a recording made in 1990 could still be so relevant today. And why? Because Mr. Previn, as the performer, brought to bear so much of his own creativity and musicality to make this music so great.

All the basic aspects were right here: the orchestra accompaniment was well balanced; the interpretation was sensitive and with tempi that I liked. But the “jewel” for me was the cadenza of the first movement.

It was obvious to me that I was hearing this cadenza for the first time. It was not a cadenza I had heard before, and my sense is that it represents Mr. Previn’s own composition for this work.

The cadenza is an opportunity for the soloist to not only show is own virtuosity. Mozart gave the soloist (often it was Mozart, himself) the opportunity to summarize the music, as it were; to reflect on the compositional aspects in an improvisational style.

Previn’s cadenza was sensational for me. It was complex, polyphonic, introspective, and wonderful. Listen to it yourself, and see if you don’t agree.

Here is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor, K 491

1 Allegro
2 Larghetto
3 Allegretto (Variations)

With André Previn, piano and conductor of the Royal Philharmonia Orchestra

And listen to that amazing cadenza for the first movement at 11:39

Wonderful, Huh?

Tags: Andre Previn, Mozart, Piano Concerto #24, cadenza