Rondos, Allegro de concert
No other works by Chopin introduce as much fun and playfulness, lightness and verve into his music as his rondos do. He composed them as a young man, in Warsaw between 1825-28 and Paris between 1832-33. Later, the composer never returned to the carefree rondo as an independent form of music. Rondos were composed in the important period in Chopin’s life, when he decided to make music his profession. That encouraged him to study systematically. His will to compose in the fashionable drawing-room brillant style challenged him to master its rules. That style, favoured by pianists-composers, demanded a spectacular show of piano playing, and thus rondo was one of the preferred music forms.
No wonder Chopin’s fascination with virtuosity was reflected in his rondos. It was connected with the use of elements from folklore, which shocked the contemporary drawing-room audiences with its coarse and distinct character. Otherwise Chopin framed his rondos in a classic form, reaching for his textural model mostly to the works by the composers who had initiated the brillant style: J. N. Hummel and K. M. Weber. However, the young composer altered the adapted models in his own way, applying some unconventional tonal and textural ideas, which took him outside of the commonly accepted stereotypes. The two Warsaw rondos, Op. 1 and 5, were given the most elaborate form. Soon after their composing they were published by the Warsaw bookseller A. Brzezina. Rondo in C Minor opened the official catalogue of music works and it was the first of Chopin’s compositions to be given an opus number.