Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

The Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28, is a composition for violin and orchestra written in 1863 by Camille Saint-Saëns for the virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate.


In 1863, Saint-Saëns wrote a solo piece for Pablo de Sarasate: The Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso pour Violin et Orchestre in A minor. The Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for violin and orchestra was originally intended to be the rousing finale to Saint-Saëns' First Violin Concerto, Op. 20. Despite their later disagreements, Claude Debussy arranged the piece for two pianos in the earlier years of his career.

Style and structure

The piece opens with a 36-bar theme in A minor, establishing key as well as rhythmic and harmonic themes. The orchestra supports the violin with block chord progressions while the soloist plays virtuosic arpeggios and chromatic scalar passages. Saint-Saëns destabilizes the rhythm of the soloist oscillating between syncopated rising arpeggios and falling eighth notes. In bar 18 the motion picks up when the tempo indication changes from Andante malinconico to animato and the soloist jumps into a rapid thirty-second note line.