There’s a lot to prepare for class on Thursday and Friday. Our repertoire on Thursday is the Faure Fantasie, but Trevor has also requested a cadenza for the first movement of Mozart’s G major flute concerto. I haven’t written a cadenza in quite a while, and finally got round to it properly today. Trevor seemed quite open to different cadenza ideas, and said that we don’t ‘have to’ end with a trill or begin in a certain way. So, rather than trying to be academic and plan out a chord progression or anything, I decided it was better to just start improvising and see where I got to. After an hour of playing this and that, I have a new love for diminished chords, and what I think will be the middle and end of my cadenza for Thursday. I also have a lot of bits and pieces that could grow into other bits of other cadenzas further down the track.

One of the things the exercise has confirmed for me is the importance of having not just scales and arpeggios under my fingers but practising the sequences that link them. In my improvisation, I often just followed my fingers and the feel of which chord should come next, something that I certainly couldn’t have done four months ago. However, it also reminded me that the only way to really get better at writing cadenzas is to take the time to improvise more – one more thing to add to the daily practice list!

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