Brian G. McKee, D.M.A.

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W.A. Mozart - Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra, K. 191 - Cadenza Project


I have arranged two short cadenzas, one for each of the first two movements of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major, K. 191. Each cadenza is available for free download in PDF format below, along with a short video demonstrating each of the cadenzas. Please feel free to view scores, and if you like them and happen to incorporate them into your next performance of the Concerto, I would love to hear about it. After many months I am excited to finally make this project a reality!


Cadenza no. 1 - Allegro (mm. 160-161) (2019)

The first theme of this cadenza begins with a melodically-extended version of the opening bassoon solo motive (mm. 35-38). It then hints at a familiar motive found toward the end of the first movement of a different Mozart chamber work for bassoon, the Duo Sonata, K. 292. Then, it quotes a portion of another motive first played by the violins in the introduction of the Concerto (mm. 11-13), this time in a minor key. Continuing with this rhythm, it then moves through a variety of sequences before a series of scales in the instrument's lowest register indicate the coming of the final cadence, ending on a trill from the third octave A to B-flat instead of the traditional C to B-flat. The tempos in the cadenza should be steady, yet also interpreted freely, at the discretion of the performer. Long notes should be held well beyond their indicated durations, and sixteenth note passages at the ends of phrases can be temporally altered as musically applicable. Rests can be used as artful pauses between thematic sections. Take your time through each of these sections, as you are the sole musical voice and are in total control before the conductor or ensemble cues the final coda at the arrival of the final B-flat in m. 161.


Cadenza no. 2 - Andante ma adagio (mm. 49-50) (2019)

This cadenza melodically begins with the same motive and rhythm that the strings play together in m. 48, before the arrival of the cadential VI-IV chord. This continues for several measures more before moving to another theme originally played by the violins in the movement's introduction, leading to a developmental sequence moving through the bassoon's tenor register. The performer then quotes a passage originally played by the oboes in m. 14 and later by the solo bassoon in m. 38, though this time in a different register and in a minor key. It then moves to an inventive melodic sequence, starting in the bassoon's middle register and moving upward before the arrival on the held "Rite of Spring" high C in the third octave. Similar to the previous cadenza, it ends by trilling upward between tenor E and F, instead of the traditional downward trill from A to G to F at the final cadence. In this cadenza, along with the previous, treat each of the lyrical sections like a gentle opera aria (think of the original second movement melodic material that comes from the aria "Porgi, Amor" in Le Nozze di Figaro). Tempos, phrase direction, and cadences are left much to the performer's interpretation where applicable. It should not be rushed, and indicated rests can again be treated as artful pauses.