Relationship for Cadenza?

What is the Style guidance for giving credit to a cadenza creator? Is there an Artist-Recording Relationship for “Cadenza by”?

What is a cadenza? Sometimes a classical music performance will include a cadenza. This is a flourish for an instrumental soloist, while the backing orchestra is silent or holds a chord. Normally the original composer of a work doesn’t write the notes for cadenzas. The performer can improvise or perform it. Often, some past cadenza gets written down, separately from the original score, and re-used by later performers. And sometimes, in such cases, there is track title credit to the composer of the cadenza.

I’m entering relationships for, and I don’t see how to give credit to the cadenza authors in cited in track titles #7 and #9. Right now I’m tempted to give “additional arranger” credit, but that’s a hack.

I don’t see a Recording-Artist Relationship for “Cadenza by”. I don’t see a bug-tracker ticket mentioning “Cadenza”.

What’s the right way to note the track title credit for a cadenza author in terms of MusicBrainz database structures that link to Artist entities?


If it’s a composed cadenza, I’d add a new work for it, like here. If it’s an improvised cadenza, I don’t think we have any particularly good way of indicating it.


Is “Cadenza by” meaning that they wrote the cadenza or that they performed the cadenza? If it’s the latter, we have the “solo” attribute on performance credits which seems appropriate here.

Usually who wrote it (the performer is generally the same as for the rest of the concerto). If it’s the same as the performer, it’s usually (but not always) an improvised cadenza.

Ah, good. I too had a stub on this, may as well do as filler on background:

For anyone not at all classically oriented, a cadenza may be likened to a plugin used within another program. Mainly – bluntly – a device to dazzle audiences, thus also bribe soloists into performing one’s work, it has blossomed through centuries to a repertoire of its own.

Typically, exemplified here with Hillary Hahn’s performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto 3 with a cadenza of her own, it is set just before the home stretch of a concerto movement (@6:44), at a point where the full orchestra has worked itself up to its highest-charge chord (@7:16, a 6/4-chord) cut off in sudden air = ‘[Insert cadenza here]’. In the composer’s score this may be written out in extenso (which is perfectly OK for a soloist to subsitute for any whim of his/her own, provided aesthetics match), just cued, or not even indicated but understood by convention. The soloist now picks up from the dynamic collapse and, from a mere few measures to several minutes completely on his/her own (sometimes with a little help from friends, such as Beethoven’s solo piano +timpani in his own arrangement of the violin concerto, nowadays as a rule arranged back in the violin version), rebuilds charge to the same point as where the orchestra fell silent, and at a cue of familiarity (@8:46, a typical dominant chord trill), they join again right at the home gates now open for a final straight.

Initially the cadenza was improvised on the spot. Later growing to balance that spot to the unified workmanship of its native surrounding, integrally thematic, soon pre-planned, -pondered … and -penned: composed. The thing is, the cadenza is very often not written by the composer of its parent concerto, is therefore properly credited on classical releases.

The Wikipedia article, under ‘Composed cadenzas’, is definitely misleading in “Joseph Joachim wrote the cadenza for Brahms’s Violin Concerto.” The Joachim cadenza is certainly the most often performed, but one among others, as popular concertante works tend to have cadenzas amassed over time: Here Ricci’s release of Brahms’ violin concerto, with a selection of 16 cadenzas to choose from. This is of some importance, since a somewhat initiated listener will from time to time want to find a recording of this or that concerto with a certain cadenza, or just the cadenza itself; and the constellation (composer-)work-cadenza-soloist may even be what makes a listener like this or that recording.

A cadenza may also quote, or even be based upon, a work completely different from its parent work (further complicating credit). A serious enough instance is this recording: [Mozart’s] Piano concerto 25 I. Allegro maestoso, where András Schiff in his own cadenza (12:52—14:40), for dynamic climax, unexpectedly but in true tradition, quotes [SPOILER](@ 13:55) from Mozart’s Figaro the instrumental march theme interpunctuating-concluding the aria “Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso”[/SPOILER] to great effect.

Schnittke’s first cadenza to Beethoven’s violin concerto deviates further in both idiom and material. Here is Gabriel Bolkosky performing it (cadenza cue @2:45—7:45), try to name the quotes!

I cannot find a Documentation page listing the Work Types available from the Add Work drop-down menu, but among listed ones I certainly find cadenza somewhat more missing than others, because of the above “what makes a listener like this or that recording” and want to (be able to search to) find it, although baked into the precedent parent Concerto Work Type, and . I think it should be added to that list (along with some others, f.i. antiphon, canon, fantasia, fugue, intermezzo, melodrama, offertorium, prelude, psalm, toccata, …).


My original question was about how to note who wrote the cadenza. See my post:

The only way I can see of doing this in MB is to create a new arrangement and make the cadenza writer an instrument arranger. However this is a bit misleading as this is usually used where a work has been transcribed/arranged for a different instrument from the original. There must be a better way…

I’d still just make a new work for the cadenza itself. I mean, technically, that’s what it is :slight_smile:

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Another example:
This recording: is a medley of two pieces with a cadenza by Limonov/Benedetti added to the second part (The Hurricane). The MB entry just shows the whole work as arranged by them, which is overstating things somewhat. The track listing shows:

8 Hurricane Set James Scott Skinner 4.07
  Cadenza: Limonov/Benedetti
I Spey in Spate
II The Hurricane

and the notes with the release say:

This feeling of liberation inspired the
idea of adding a cadenza (a solo
passage allowing freedom to improvise
and demonstrate virtuosity) to one of
James Scott Skinner’s tunes “The

The cadenza was clearly ‘composed’ rather than improvised. Should I add an extra work just for the cadenza (so now it is a medley of three)?
I’m still not sure this is the right answer.

Here are two examples of how Cadenzas have been added to the db as Works:

Are these in line with community wishes?
Is one naming style better?
Is there an even better naming style?

Here are searches around Cadenza + for vs Cadenza + to.

Not sure what factors are in play but raw counts:
Found 63,182 results for “Cadenza for”
Found 25,681 results for “Cadenza to”

Personally I think
Cadenza for Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, op. 35: 1st movement
is better than
Cadenza for Violin Concerto, op. 35: 1st movement (concerto by Tchaikovsky)

Other views?

I like either “Cadenza for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, op. 35: 1st movement” or “Cadenza for the 1st movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, op. 35” :slight_smile: But as long as they’re understandable, I’m happy with all!

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