A motivic analysis of Krzysztof Penderecki’s cadenza for solo violin
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Krzysztof Penderecki’s Cadenza for Solo Violin may appear to be composed as an improvisation with an unclear formal structure. Penderecki provides few clues to guide the performer’s phrasing and articulation decisions throughout the piece, especially in the Vivace middle section. The application of tonal or twelve-tone analysis does not aid the performer in making interpretive decisions. A motivic analysis of the Cadenza based on the permutations of B-A-C-H and D-S-C-H motifs provides an alternative theoretical approach in analyzing the piece. This paper first provides a brief historical background of the Cadenza and a general layout of the piece. This is followed by the structural construction of B-A-C-H and D-S-C-H motifs and identification of their 24 permutations. The analysis section exemplifies how the permutational analysis, based on these two motifs, applies to the Cadenza and compliments the analytical observations with relevant performance suggestions. The motivic analysis of the Cadenza aims to provide a cohesive understanding of thestructure of the piece, and provides valuable performance insight in phrasing, voicing and dynamic preferences.