Article | How Gilles Apap's New Cadenza Illuminates Mozart, Via Bakhtin Maiko Kawabata

Kawabata (featured image)


{1} According to a recent article by Alex Ross in the New Yorker, the once defunct art of classical improvisation is in revival mode; his emphasis was not the expected ornamentation-savvy Baroque specialists but the more surprising field of cadenza-updates in the performance of Classical and Romantic works, a field led by Robert Levin (Mozart Piano Concertos), Will Crutchfield (Donizetti arias), and Joshua Bell (Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto).1 Here Ross could also have included original Mozart violin cadenzas by Leonidas Kavakos and Rachel Barton Pine.2 Curiously excluded from the immediate context of this revival is Gilles Apap’s Mozart, which Ross describes in parentheses as “full-on cadenza craziness.”3 He places it in a separate category along with Schnittke’s cadenza for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. What Apap’s and Schnittke’s cadenzas share that the others do not is explicit intertextual referencing: Schnittke quotes snippets of Violin Concertos by Brahms, Bartok, Berg, and Shostakovich, thereby stepping out of the bounds of Beethoven’s musical language, while Apap quotes Mendelssohn and ventures several steps further, out of the bounds of classical music altogether and into other musical styles.

{2} Apap’s eight-minute cadenza near the end of the last movement of Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G Major, K. 216, can be viewed on YouTube.4 He begins with a virtuoso prelude of diminished-seventh arpeggios running up and down the instrument over three octaves punctuated by dramatic pauses (0:09). He then whistles one of Mozart’s themes while accompanying himself on the violin (0:40). Next comes another theme in the style of an Old-Time fiddler (1:44) and a Gypsy Swing fiddler (2:13). In quick succession, Mozart’s music is transformed into a Scottish reel (2:44), a Gypsy dance (4:41), and a Classical Indian improvisation (5:27). Overall Apap fulfills the basic definition and purpose of the traditional cadenza, which is to “throw new light on the themes occurring in the piece… [to] extend the range of what has already been said, give [one’s] own personal view of it.”5

{3} Mozart himself left no cadenzas for his violin concertos; he expected performers to provide their own. This was true even in the case of his piano concertos, for which he did write cadenzas.6 Indeed, in Mozart’s time “it was expected of virtuosos that they should establish a personal performance manner or method of embellishing as a kind of trademark distinguishing them from their rivals.”7 In this respect, Apap has carried out Mozart’s wishes fully. What makes this cadenza controversial is the question of style: in Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda’s words, “inappropriate (unstylish) cadenzas often suggest a tumour in an organism that is otherwise perfect and healthy.”8

{4} The question of whether cadenzas should be in the style of the concerto vs. or in the style of the soloist (or the soloist’s era) has been contentious since the Romantic era. Beethoven composed a cadenza in his own style for Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor, K. 466; Edwin Fischer took off into “late-Romantic chromatic fantasies of a post-Wagnerian sort” in the 1930s.9 The “standard” violin cadenzas of Joseph Joachim and Fritz Kreisler were written in a Romantic idiom. Apap’s cadenza thus comes in a long line of departures from Mozartian language in favor of the language and individual skills of certain performers—the question is, how far is too far?

{5} In this article I argue, based on a detailed analysis of Apap’s controversial cadenza, that there is an order to the madness—a kind of musical-lingual logic that, while stretched to extreme lengths by Apap, is unique in overlapping with a distinctive and well-known aspect of Mozart’s own musical language, namely, its mixture of styles. In abstracted form, his compositional voice, resulting from mixing multiple voices and styles, corresponds to what Bakhtin called heteroglossia, an idea he developed in response to the “polyphonic” novels of Dostoevsky and others. Literally meaning “different languages,” heteroglossia encompasses dialects and jargons indicative of age, class, and other social markers that carry ideological undertones. My point, briefly put, is that Mozart’s compositional heteroglossia is mirrored by Apap’s performative heteroglossia. Apap does this in an eccentric and transgressive manner, in a way that seduces or provokes, though which one is a matter of debate.


{6} Apap’s polystylistic reinterpretation of Mozart comprises a series of variations on selected themes drawing on a variety of Western and non-Western violin playing techniques. He explained them to Sir Yehudi Menuhin, who hailed him as “the violinist of the twenty-first century” and immediately organized concerts that he planned to conduct himself (tragically he died shortly before the project was to begin, in March 1999).10 In an interview taped shortly afterwards, Apap recalled meeting with Menuhin.11 “I told him I could transform the theme in various styles,” he says, and demonstrates how changing even a single note can entirely alter the character of Mozart’s “Andante” theme (in this case, a C-sharp instead of C-natural in m. 253):


Example 1a.

Example 1a

Example 1b.

Example 1b

{7} The d2 at the beginning of Example 1a, part of a G-minor triad, becomes scale degree 3 of a B flat chord in the second full bar, with the trilled C as part of the modulation; in Apap’s version, the augmented second C-sharp to B flat inflects the harmony with “otherness,” variously coded as “Eastern,” “Arabic,” “Oriental,” “Jewish,” etc. (This particular transformation illustrating Apap’s process does not appear in the cadenza.)

{8} Apap then goes through each of the variations of his cadenza explaining the different techniques he uses. In one variation he whistles the theme while self-accompanying with syncopated plucked chords and interjected rhetorical slaps on the fingerboard. This refers to the bardic origins of the “Serenade” (the example gives the whistled line on the top staff and the pizzicato accompaniment on the bottom staff):

Example 2.

Example 2 corrections

{9} Later in the same variation Apap accompanies himself using a bowing technique known as “chopping,” simulating the off-beat chordal strumming of rock guitarists, popular among electric violinists such as Mark Wood and Tracy Silverman (not shown). Next Apap renders the theme in the style of a Highland fiddler by lifting the fingers of the left hand to make the notes squeak “like a bagpipe […] something they don’t teach at the Paris conservatoire!” (2:44, Example 3a).

Example 3a.

 Example 3b.corrections






{10} Here the original cut-common time signature is changed to 12/8 and the rests are eliminated to create a continuous quaver-beat motion. (Example 3b is notated in E minor as per the recording, rather than the G minor of the YouTube performance—Apap appears to have changed his mind about the best key for this variation.)

{11} Apap then takes the “Allegretto” theme (bars 265ff, shown in Example 3b) and subjects it to a “Gypsy Swing” treatment, imitating the flowing improvisational style of Stephane Grappelli (Menuhin’s erstwhile collaborator) and evoking the smoky Hot Clubs of 1920s Paris (2:13).

Example 3b.

 Example 3a

Example 4.

Example 4 corrections


{12} Next Apap transforms the “Andante” theme into a breakneck Friska, performed moto perpetuo and bedecked with trills on almost every other note, while the orchestra provides a rhythmic accompaniment in the manner of a Hungarian Gypsy band (4:41).

Example 5.

Example 5.corrections








{13} In the final variation, on the “Andante” theme, Apap imitates the style of a Classical Indian improvisation through the use of long glissandi and extremely wide vibrato. This particularly fascinated Menuhin, who was very fond of Indian music and especially the playing of Ravi Shankar (5:27).

Example 6.

Example 6


{14} The cadenza concludes with the finale’s main theme in the minor developed through a brief modulation (7:00) and juxtaposed with “a bit of Mendelssohn”—a quotation from the last movement of his Violin Concerto (7:15).  What Apap does not mention in his interview is that the cadenza also includes a bluegrass variation in the manner of a fiddler such as Mark O’Connor (1:44)…

Example 7.

Example 7 corrections

… and (spoiler alert!) a blues song, introduced by way of a wailing solo in the style of Jimi Hendrix (3:32):

Example 8.

Example 8







He sings throatily while accompanying himself on the violin (3:48):

I woke up this morning
Could not play my fiddle no more
I woke up this morning
Could not play in the key of G major (one sharp, that is)
I tried and tried

{15} Neither does Apap mention how he gets from one variation to the next—by means of improvised (or improvisatory) connective passages in which he whistles and plays simultaneously, a feat that is not nearly as easy as it looks.  He whistles, he sings, he “chops”; he plays in the idioms of nineteenth-century virtuoso violin music, rock music, the blues, bluegrass, Scottish folk music, jazz, Gypsy music, and Indian music—all in quick succession. The virtuosity of Apap’s cadenza lies in its wide-ranging stylistic and technical versatility; it highlights his many different skills and simultaneously highlights certain commonalities of technique across traditions, e.g. the use of the open strings as drones in Mozart and in bluegrass music.12


{16} The fact that Mozart’s voice as a composer was characterized by stylistic heterogeneity is too well known to require more than a brief summary here. As many scholars have pointed out, this voice undoubtedly stemmed from his early exposure to numerous musical styles, traveling widely throughout Europe as a child prodigy. As a young man he proudly claimed to his father, “as you know, I can more or less adopt or imitate any kind and any style of composition.”13 He “absorbed various influences, learned the full range of current styles in the same way that he mastered the main foreign languages,” as Maynard Solomon has observed, and synthesized them into a multifaceted compositional voice.14 Wye Jamison Allanbrook has noted that “in general, nothing is ever wholly “new” in Mozart’s repertory, but is instead a brilliant combination of existing compositional materials.”15 Leonard Ratner has remarked on Mozart’s rare ability “to incorporate and synthesize elements from the various styles of eighteenth-century music,” making him “the greatest master at mixing and coordinating topics, often in the shortest space and with startling contrast.”16

{17} Let us turn directly to an examination of Mozart’s “style of styles” in the Violin Concertos. As the following examples (Examples 9-12) illustrate, the Concerto in G, K. 216 brings together an assortment of “types” and “styles” drawn from the lexicon of eighteenth-century musical language:17

Example 9: Pastorale (a style). K. 216/I mm. 38-41.       

Example 9.





Example 10: Hunt Music (a style, here exemplified by “horn fifths”). K. 216/I mm. 76-77.

Example 10




Example 11: Passepied (a dance type). K. 216/III mm. 1-8.

Example 11.corrections




Example 12: March-musette (a style/topic/dance combination). K. 216/III mm. 265-68.

Example 12





{18} In addition to these characteristic “topics,” the Concerto includes cross-generic references such as operatic recitative—possibly alluding to the fact that the main theme was recycled from Il Re Pastore, K. 208, composed a few months prior to K. 216. (Example 13) Another inserted genre was the Serenade, complete with pizzicato accompaniment. (Example 14)

Example 13: Recitative (borrowed from opera). K. 216/I mm. 147-152.

Example 13




 Example 14: Serenade (an inserted genre). K. 216/III mm. 252-56.

Example 14





{19} Expanding the scope of exploration to include the Violin Concertos in D, K. 218, and A, K. 219 (the two most often performed of the five concertos; Examples 15-21), reveals yet more “topics” and discursive devices borrowed from eighteenth-century styles, including dance (Example 15) and opera such as arioso (substituting the violin for the voice; Example 20) and the speech of characters in dramatic “dialogue” (Example 21):

Example 15: Minuet (a dance type). K. 219/III mm. 1-4.

Example 15





 Example 16: Military Music (a style, here exemplified by a trumpet fanfare). K. 218/I mm. 1-4.

Example 16





 Example 17: Military Music-Brilliant Style. K. 219/I mm. 46-50.

Example 17





Example 18: Turkish Music (a style). K. 219/III mm. 164-172. 

Example 18




Example 19: Strict (or Learned) Style. K. 219/II mm. 85-86.

Example 19









Example 20: Arioso (borrowed from opera). K. 219/I mm. 40-42.

Example 20




Example 21: Dialogue (borrowed from opera). K. 219/III mm. 78-85.

Example 21







{20} These examples, while hardly exhaustive, encompass a wide range of types (Dances [in Examples 11 and 15], the March [12]), styles (Military, Hunt, Brilliant [Examples 16-17], Musette [12], Pastorale [9], Turkish [18], Strict/Learned [19]), and generic borrowings (Serenade [Example 14], opera [3, 20-21]), all of which were socially codified in the eighteenth-century musical lexicon. While a comprehensive examination of the subtle discursive differences between types, styles, and genres in the musical language of Mozart’s time is beyond the scope of this article, we can nonetheless note that each of these carried certain social, historical, or intertextual implications. For instance, the Minuet was a dance associated with a high social class in contrast to, say, the low-class Contredanse; the strict/learned style referred to imitative counterpoint as epitomized by J.S. Bach; “Turkish music” imitated the raucous sounds of Janissary music; Hunt and Military music referred to aristocratic and army pursuits respectively; “dialogue” using the high and low registers of the violin simulated an exchange between operatic characters, such as Don Giovanni and Zerlina. Each musical style thus carried some kind of social connotation tied to certain groups or human behaviors and it was Mozart’s facility at integrating these disparate elements into his music that was arguably his hallmark as a composer.

{21} Mozart’s heterogeneous musical style can be further illuminated by invoking Bakhtin’s concept of “heteroglossia” (from the Greek hetero (different) and glossa meaning tongue or language—as in the word “glossary”). In his essay “Discourse in the Novel,” the Russian philosopher wrote:

The novel can be defined as a diversity of social speech types (sometimes even diversity of languages) and a diversity of individual voices, artistically organized. The internal stratification of any single national language into social dialects, characteristic group behavior, professional jargons, generic languages, languages of generations and age groups, tendentious languages, languages of the authorities, of various circles and of passing fashions, languages that serve the specific sociopolitical purposes of the day, even of the hour… this internal stratification present in every language at any given moment of its historical existence is the indispensable prerequisite for the novel as a genre. The novel orchestrates all its themes, the totality of the world of objects and ideas depicted and expressed in it, by means of the social diversity of speech types and by the different individual voices that flourish under such conditions. Authorial speech, the speeches of narrators, inserted genres, the speech of characters are merely those fundamental compositional unities with whose help heteroglossia (raznorezie) can enter the novel.18

{22} Bakhtin considered the “stratification” or proliferation of language into many different languages to be a fundamental feature of novels, as exemplified by Turgenev, Pushkin, Tolstoy, and others. He gave the name heteroglossia (“raznorezie” in Russian) to the novelist’s mastery and manipulation of these languages, through which the entire world of the novel came to life. For example, Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons switched from voice to voice to give ironic characterizations, and mixed accents and dialects in the speech of characters to build an entire social sphere, while the use of direct and indirect speech and inserted genres (such as the introduction of poetry to Dostoevky’s The Possessed and Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister) enabled thoughts and emotions to be expressed with varying degrees of directness. In Bakhtin’s view, the defining feature of the novel as a literary genre was the agency of the author, who orchestrates his multitude of themes, speech types, and voices into a unified synthesis.

{23} Parallels can be drawn between linguistic and musical discourses by comparing selected social speech types and individual voices named by Bakhtin with the topics and genres identified earlier in Mozart’s Concertos (see Table 1).  As we can see, the elements of Mozart’s musical language correspond closely to Bakhtin’s categories.



Bakhtin’s Social Speech Types and Individual Voices


Mozart’s Topics and Genres

Characteristic Group Behavior


Dance Types (Passepied, Minuet)

The March

Professional jargons

Strict (or Learned) Style

Generic Languages

Pastorale, Hunt Music, Military Music, Turkish Music

Inserted Genres


Opera (Recitative, Arioso)

Speech of Characters



{24} Furthermore, heteroglot discourse allowed the author to express his own socio-ideological position by manipulating various characters’ dialects, jargons, and individual voices. As Bakhtin explained,

Heteroglossia, once incorporated into the novel… is another’s speech in another’s language, serving to express authorial intentions but in a refracted way. Such speech constitutes a special type of double-voiced discourse. It serves two speakers at the same time and expresses simultaneously two different intentions: the direct intention of the character who is speaking, and the refracted intention of the author.19

In other words, heteroglossia revealed a novel’s discourse as unfolding on two levels: the language of the characters themselves and the ongoing conversation between a given character’s speech and authorial intent. This discursive interplay, which Bakhtin described as being “internally dialogized,” enabled the author indirectly to voice his opinions, to express humor, and ultimately to express a world-view or ideology. Pushkin’s Evgenij Onegin, for example, was not only “an encyclopedia of the styles and languages of the epoch” but a reflection of Russian life itself, thus revealing a certain socio-ideological consciousness on the author’s part.20


{25} By now the parallels I am drawing between Mozart and Apap should be clear. Adapting Bakhtin’s terminology, we could say that Apap has created “speech types” for violin. We can note here, drawing on Karol Berger’s idea that the cadenza is the moment where “the performer steps out of a written role and speaks in his or her own voice,” that a double-voiced discourse emerges, as if Apap is in dialogue with Mozart. The presence of more than a single voice is most evident at the cadenza’s conclusion, as the final trill leads back into Mozart’s Rondo theme. Here Apap’s voice recedes in favor of Mozart’s. This dialogic moment is further highlighted by the fact that Apap plays “standard” cadenzas in the preceding two movements, saving his own for the last movement.

{26} Apap’s heteroglossia distinguishes him from the phenomenon of “cross-over” artists, i.e., musicians who leap from one genre into another. Among the first classically trained violinists to do this was Menuhin himself, who collaborated with Ravi Shankar and Stephane Grappelli in the 1960s and 70s.Since then, numerous leading classical violinists have forayed into non-classical repertoire, including Nigel Kennedy (jazz), Gidon Kremer (Tangos by Astor Piazzolla), Viktoria Mullova (covers of the Bee Gees and Alanis Morissette), Daniel Hope (Indian Classical music), Joshua Bell (bluegrass) and David Garrett (film music and pop song covers). “Crossing over” in the opposite direction, meanwhile, we find Stuff Smith jazzing up Bach’s Double Concerto, George Gao rendering the Queen of the Night aria on the erhu, and numerous pop musicians covering classical repertoire, such as Bond. Crossing over entails “speaking with an accent” on the violin that should not be confused with the multi-lingual musical discourse comprised by Apap’s “speech types.”21

{27} Apap’s contribution is unique in the history of performances of Mozart’s violin concertos. However, we should note here that he could not have intended his cadenza specifically as a commentary on Mozart’s concerto since he revels in polystylistic performance behaviors just as much when performing Bach and Ravel, bluegrass and reels (as we will see below). Leaving aside the question of authorial intention, Apap’s cadenza does draw attention to an aspect of Mozart’s music never before emphasized in any previous cadenza.

{28} Finally, the question of what Apap did intend with his cadenza can be addressed by looking into his background and sketching a brief portrait of his individuality and motivations. Like Mozart, Apap travelled widely, absorbing musical influences in his formative years. Born in Algeria in 1963, he began playing violin at the age of seven and attended Lyon Conservatory where he acquired what he calls “mind fungal disease.22 Rejecting the formalities of the institution, Apap embarked on his own study of folk music, improvisation, and jazz, making pilgrimages to Bulgaria, India, and Alaska. Having once served as concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra, he now performs as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world and with his two ensembles, the Transylvanian Mountain Boys and The Colors of Invention.

{29} In every configuration, Apap’s heteroglossia comes to the fore. His version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons—arranged for violin, accordion, contrabass, and cymbalum—includes whistling in the opening of “Spring” and an Indian sitar imitation during the last movement of “Autumn”. His recording of Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin with the same group transforms the original “Forlane” into a smoky jazz bar number. During a performance of Manuel de Falla’s Spanish Dance in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2005, with his band the Transylvanian Mountain Boys, for example, he included an unscripted blues break in the middle of the piece.

{30} Apap has said, “all music is created equal,” signaling a multi-cultural relativist position that equalizes musical traditions and implies that classical music ought not to be especially exalted.23 His performances break the mold of the typical classical music concert by creating a casual atmosphere; he talks to his audiences, often making them laugh. “If only the president could play the fiddle, that would be beautiful,” he jokes, “If all the presidents at the summit meeting could play the fiddle, and whip them out to jam, that would be great.”24 Yet inherent in his idealistic stance that the power of music, as symbolized by the violin, can unite people across linguistic, cultural, and political divides is a necessary jab at classical prestige.

{31} At one point in the above-mentioned 2005 concert, he quoted Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the mischief of a schoolboy. After playing the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B minor and a fiddle tune in succession and without a pause, he turned to the audience and said: “First I played John Sebastian Bach, then I went into some Irish reels.” The deliberate mispronunciation of the composer’s first name can be taken as a metaphor for Apap’s attitude towards classical music. “Hey… where’s Mozart?” he hollers playfully on a bonus track at the end of the CD recording of the Mozart concerto, reveling in irreverence.25

{32} Irreverence lies at the core of Apap’s musical persona—it fuels the heteroglossia on display in his cadenza, it informs his humorous stage manner, and it infuriates his critics.26 It also echoes the mythology of Mozart the rebel, with his romanticized image of anti-authoritarianism towards his father and his patrons. Whether that is good or bad is not the point of this article; besides, readers can make up their own minds and stake a position, as millions have already—the cadenza clip has had nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube at the time of this writing. What this article has aimed to show, rather, is that whatever his means and intentions may have been, Apap has produced a cadenza that is “Mozartian” in unexpected ways.


Maiko Kawabata is a musicologist specializing in violin performance (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) and a professional violinist working in orchestras in Berlin and beyond. Her book Paganini, the ‘Demonic’ Virtuoso was published by Boydell & Brewer in 2013. She has published articles on violin virtuosi as symbols of military power, on the quality of narration projected in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Shekherazade and on the “anti-virtuosic” viola in Berlioz’s Harold in Italy. Recent projects include research on the aura of Stradivari’s violins and an exploration of the legend of Schoenberg’s supposedly unplayable Violin Concerto. Mai has taught at the University of East Anglia and the State University of New York, Stony Brook. 



Articles and Books

Allanbrook, Wye Jamison. Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination. Translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.

Badura-Skoda, Eva. “On Improvised Embellishments and Cadenzas in Mozart’s Piano Concertos.” In Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation, edited by Neal Zaslaw (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 365-72.

Badura-Skoda, Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda. Interpreting Mozart on the Keyboard. Translated by Leo Black. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1965.

Beckerman, Michael. “Editorial: Turkicization and Rondology in Mozart‘s K.331,” Eighteenth-Century Music 7/1 (2010): 5–8.

Grayson, David. Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

McClary, Susan. “A Musical Dialectic from the Enlightenment: Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G Major, K.453, Movement 2,” Cultural Critique (1986): 129-69.

Ratner, Leonard G. Classic Music: Expression, Form, and Style. New York: Schirmer, 1980.

———.  “Topical Content in Mozart’s Keyboard Sonatas,” Early Music 19 (1991): 615-19.

Ross, Alex. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. London: Fourth Estate, 2008.

Solomon, Maynard. Mozart: A Life. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Zaslaw, Neal, ed., Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Recordings, videos, and program booklets

Apap, Gilles. [Program booklet] (June 12, 2005) Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.

Apap, Gilles and The Sinfonia Varsinova.  Gilles Apap and The Sinfonia Varsinova.  Audio recording.  ApapAziz Productions, 2003.

Gilles Apap Plays Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto with The Sinfonia Varsovia.  Idéale Audience Productions (1999). (Accessed 15 November 2014)

Kavakos, Leonidas and Camerata Salzburg. Mozart Violin Concertos. Sony CD, 2006.

Pine, Rachel Barton.  “Program Notes: Mozart Violin Concertos.” (Accessed 15 November 2014)


The editors wish to acknowledge John M. Licari of Music Preparation Services for his expert assistance in preparing this article for publication.



  1. Alex Ross, “Taking Liberties: Reviving the Art of Classical Improvisation,” The New Yorker (8 August 2009)
  2. See Leonidas Kavakos and Camerata Salzburg, Mozart Violin Concertos (Sony CD, 2006) and Rachel Barton Pine, “Program Notes: Mozart Violin Concertos,” (Accessed 15 November 2014)
  3. Ross, “Taking Liberties.”
  4. See The timings in my text refer to this clip
  5. Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda, Interpreting Mozart on the Keyboard, trans. Leo Black (London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1965), 215
  6. As musicologist David Grayson has written, “(Mozart) would have expected (when others played his concertos) to hear not his cadenzas but their own… while he was alive he did everything he could to prevent others from playing his cadenzas.” David Grayson, Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 102
  7. Eva Badura-Skoda, “On Improvised Embellishments and Cadenzas in Mozart’s Piano Concertos,” in Neal Zaslaw, ed., Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 366
  8. Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda, Interpreting Mozart on the Keyboard, 215. N.B. By “unstylish” I think they probably mean unstylistic or unidiomatic rather than lacking in chic
  9. I am grateful to my anonymous reader for bringing this point to my attention
  10. Quoted in the program booklet to his performance on June 12, 2005 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut
  11. This interview is available (for promotional purposes only) from Idéale Audience (1999). I am grateful to Kirsten Monke for providing me with a copy of this tape
  12. He has since made an audio recording entitled Gilles Apap and The Sinfonia Varsovia (ApapAziz Productions, 2003). See his website,
  13. Quoted in Maynard Solomon, Mozart: A Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1995)118-19
  14. Solomon, Mozart: A Life, 119
  15. Wye Jamison Allanbrook, Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart: ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ and ‘Don Giovanni’ (Chicago and London, 1983), 318
  16. See Leonard G. Ratner, Classic Music: Expression, Form, and Style (New York: Schirmer, 1980), 27 (where he gives as an example the kaleidoscope of topics in the first movement of the Prague Symphony) and ‘Topical Content in Mozart’s Keyboard Sonatas’, Early Music 19 (1991), 619
  17. In making these classifications I have found Ratner’s work on musical expression useful. See Ratner, Classic Music, 9-30
  18. See Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 262-63
  19. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, 324
  20. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, 329 and xxviii
  21. In fact, Apap has spoken of his discomfort with the “cross-over” label in Josef Woodard, “Gilles Apap,” The Strad (January 2007), 28-34
  22. See Apap’s website,
  23. As he wrote in the program booklet to his performance on June 12, 2005 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut
  24. Quoted in Woodard, “Gilles Apap,” 31
  25. “Gilles Apap and The Sinfonia Varsovia”
  26. He used to have a “Bad Reviews’ section on his website that has been taken down (as of time of writing)
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