The Rondo is in the key of E flat major. Its light-heartedness is offset by a more formidable and consistent order of virtuoso demand than is found elsewhere in the concertante keyboard works, and the absence of a slow introduction instils a compulsive momentum which is effortlessly maintained from start to finish, aided at several points by a seemingly equestrian accompanying rhythm of paired quaver chords across main beats. The ending is almost too terse, leaving little room for a climactic peroration and vanishing instead with the abruptness of Haydn in mischievous vein. The work seems likely to have appealed to its dedicatee, whose own concerto output was influenced by Beethoven and Schubert and in turn informed Mendelssohn’s style. The Rondo Brillant was composed in 1834.
from notes by Francis Pott © 1997