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Topic: Beethoven G Major PC (#4) 1st movement double-trill cadenza  (Read 1940 times)

Offline johnlewisgrant

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The "double-trill cadenza" from the 1st movement of the G major: does that ring a bell, ...

or NOT?

Chatting with Kuerti after a masterclass in Toronto on the Brahms B-flat concerto (that was BEFORE his stroke in Miami), I asked him about this cadenza (first movement of the 4th), which is Beethoven's own.

He said (incredibly) words to the effect: "I know every Beethoven cadenza ever written, and I don't recall the cadenza you're referring to....."    (Note: I've been listening to Kuerti's Beethoven live, for the last thirty years, here in Toronto (where he lives), and he's phenomenal in this rep) ... but I have to say: I was quite shocked.

Truth is, the cadenza is not played much.  Notable exceptions: all of Gilels recordings of the G major use the double-trill cadenza.   Pollini, Arrau, and Brendel also come to mind.  But not many others.

So there's the question.... why is it not better known?   And why is it seldom heard? 

It's a FANTASIC cadenza.   It changes the nature of the entire 1st movement.   I'd even go so far as to say that it's one of the greatest cadenzas ever written.   (I'm biased: I think the G major is the greatest PC ever written.... such "judgements" being entirely subjective.)

My theory: like the opening bars of that elusive concerto, the double-trill cadenza exposes the pianist to risk.   IE it's VERY hard.

Am I right? 

Or wrong?

Youtube Gilels/Ludwig, cadenza starts at 14:27

Offline johnlewisgrant

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Re: Beethoven G Major PC (#4) 1st movement double-trill cadenza
Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 06:01:56 PM
Replying to myself!!!   Addendum:  a recording even better than the Ludwig account... but older and more wretchedly recorded, however,  .....

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