This treatise explores the topic of cadenzas in concertos for cello and orchestra with four goals in mind. First, it provides an historical background of the development of the cadenza in cello concertos from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. Next, it discusses the different functions and locations of the cadenzas in works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in order to establish where an improvised cadenza is appropriate, and where the cadenza provided by the composer should be performed. The third element is a survey and analysis of the compositional procedures in existing cadenzas for the cello concertos by Joseph Haydn in terms of style, form, and relationship to the musical material of the movement of the concerto. Finally, the treatise includes guidelines for creating cadenzas.
The treatise is organized in three chapters. Chapter one, “History of Cadenzas in Cello Concertos,” presents an historic overview of the cadenzas in cello concertos. It includes a discussion of the evolution of the cadenza from a simple improvisatory penultimate section of a movement (Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Nos. 1 and 2 by Joseph Haydn) to a separate movement in a concerto (Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Op. 107 by Dmitri Shostakovich). In this chapter I discuss also the places cadenzas can appear – the beginning, middle or end of fast or slow movements – and the different stylistic characteristics associated with them. Chapter two, “Analysis of Ad libitum Cadenzas,” includes an analysis of harmonic progressions, use of thematic and non-thematic musical materials, the length of the cadenza, keys alluded to, structure, form, style, and interpretation of selected cadenzas for the cello concertos by Joseph Haydn. The chapter also includes a discussion and comparison instructions for improvising cadenza from selected eighteenth-century treatises. In chapter three, “Principles of Improvisation,” I discuss the principles of improvising cadenzas for cello concertos. I examine the choices of thematic materials from the movement and the possibilities for improvisation. Those principles however are not limited to classical concertos. They can be applied to the improvisation of any ad libitum cadenza.