Rondo in B minor D.895

The rondo for violin and piano, D895, is a one-movement piece and stands alone in comparison with the other pieces that Schubert wrote for this repertoire. It is one of the largest Rondos in the repertoire and it was not a common practice to write an individual Rondo. One of the other composers that wrote a separate Rondo for violin was Mozart, which was originally written for violin and orchestra but is often performed with piano.

The piece starts with an introduction which has a typical March-like character, especially in the piano part. The violin has, in general, a more lyrical line and gives a contrast with the piano. With the accompaniment that follows the March-introduction and the violin melody, we can see that Schubert could have an orchestra in mind.

After the Andante introduction, Schubert continues with the actual Rondo which is a fast allegro. It is rather dramatic due to the harmonic progressions. and only during the section in G major the affect is calmer. The many doubling in rhythms and octaves or unison give a clear statement. Often, Schubert used small fragments from the introduction as a bridge in the Rondo. The form of this Rondo is in ABA. In the B section, Schubert introduces a theme that can be considered as a second theme which never comes in the A section. One of the most demanding tasks that the performer is facing while playing this piece is to keep the lightness of the Rondo. Especially when one looks at the technical demands of this piece, this is a difficult thing to do.