Niccolo Paganini – Violin Concerto no. 1 – Cadenza

This cadenza is one of the most well ones, even though the length of the first movement is only roughly 20 minutes, the cadenza fills, with 5 minutes nearly a quarter of it. It was written by the french composer  Émilie Sauret and performed by Tatsuki Narita. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a score.

The beginning of the cadenza generally consists of detached notes. After introducing with the main theme, a motive which involves downwards moving scales, always starting from a higher pitch is being used. Having started in a major key, the mood changes to a sad sounding minor key after a short while. This minor part involves a mix of detached and smooth notes, as well as many double stoppings. After that, the main theme can be heard again, followed by the first slower played part, which has a sad character.  The melody is being played a bit faster again and introduces a polyphonic theme, involving two melodies working with one another.


I found that, with longer cadenzas such as this one it becomes more and more difficult to analyse the structure. Despite its length I didn’t think it became boring after a while, even though there were some parts, where I thought that they would mark the end of the cadenza. Sauret used very contrasting motifs from the concerto, which kept the cadenza entertaining. I especially liked the two-voiced part, and also noticed that some notes, which were usually placed at the end of scales or frequencies were plucked instead of being played with a bow, which created a nice change.