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Accidentals in cadenzas (Read 898 times)

Offline mikeyv

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Accidentals in cadenzas
« on: April 05, 2016, 06:50:19 AM »
I'm currently learning Rach's Liebesleid arrangement, and have gotten to the cadenza. I've played a couple cadenzas before but the accidentals in this one are just throwing me off. Sometimes there seem to be naturals when there are no preceding sharps/flats, while other times naturals are missing, but to keep the accidental makes it sound incorrect. After some googling I found this:


which somewhat boiled down to "it depends". Can someone help me out here? I should be able to just play it correctly based on sound, but I would rather be 100% sure.

Offline michael_c

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Re: Accidentals in cadenzas
«Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 07:49:58 AM »
Yes, it does boil down to "it depends". Once a cadenza gets sufficiently long it isn't practical to keep the rule that an accidental continues until the next barline. It's usually better for the composer to put too many accidentals rather than too few, but you often come across cases where it isn't completely clear what was intended and it's up to you to make an intelligent decision based on what you know of harmony and style. An remember that composers and editors can and do make mistakes.

I just read through the version of this piece that is available on IMSLP. There are dotted barlines that can certainly be considered as normal barlines as far as accidentals go. There is also an obvious mistake: at the end of the cadenza, at the beginning of the last system on page 8, the first G in the right hand should be a G#, which is cancelled by the natural just before tempo primo.