This cadenza to Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto made me smile.

Now I’m not sure if I should smile. But I did. So there. And I laughed. I also rolled my eyes.

I’d heard of the violinist, Gilles Apap, before, and I’m trying to remember what it was I was considering purchasing by him. It might have been Vivaldi’s Four Seasons which, I believe, were equally … um … creative. I just never got around to it, and I did wonder if he would grow old quickly.

Does what he does work for Mozart? Well, not really (in my little opinion, of course). He’s fun, though, as well as self-indulgent. I do remember hearing entirely on-the-spot improvisations for some Mozart Piano Concerti that did work back in my Midsummer Mozart Festival days. And those made me laugh (I love the inside jokes some soloists will share with us on stage folk) and smile too. Just no eye rolling.

(I read about this and saw the link first at Alex Ross’s site.)


  1. terminaldegree

    I do think that “self-indulgent” is a good word for it. A true classical cadenza was SHORT. (Although Mozart’s written-out cadenzas were longer…but they did stay within key areas and in a similar style to the rest of the piece…while this cadenza could have been the cadenza for ANY piece.) I think it would be a fun piece to program, but it doesn’t need the rest of the concerto. In fact, I think it detracts from the beauty of Mozart’s original work. Why distract the audience from Mozart? Isn’t the performance supposed to be about the music, not about the musician?

    Just some general thoughts. I’d prefer to hear his cadenza alone. Without the Mozart.

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Well, I guess, just to take his side, he was only being a true musician, eh? What musician isn’t self-indulgent! 😉