I am going through listening exercises, and I am having a lot of trouble with recognising the Rondo Form.

For example Mozart's Pinao Concert 15 - 3rd movement. Is this correct:

  • A (16:52)
  • B (17:48)
  • A (19:43)
  • B (22:17)
  • Candenza (23:17)
  • Closing

There is a lot more going on in that piece for example:

  • it seems to recapitulate starting at (19:43).
  • there is an entirely new idea at (19:10) which is repeated again (22:37)

I have a feeling I am missing a whole bunch of things; regardless, really enjoyed listening to this (specially the interplay as the theme is passed between each section the piano, winds & strings - around the 20 minute mark)

The timestamps reference this video clip.

Are there simpler rondo pieces that would help me train myself?

  • 1
    It might be nice to put some time into learning to read music; I see from an earlier question that you don't have a lot of experience with that, but it could really help to see the score, the "blueprint" of the music. Even without reading staff notation, you might be able to recognize recurrences of material as similar visual patterns. (They could hide, though, by being in different keys or adding ornamentation.) Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 17:00
  • @AndyBonner - you're absolutely right. I wish I could...I totally do realise that it would help and in fact may be necessary :-)
    – hba
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


This is not a pure rondo, but rather a sonata-rondo form. Sonata-rondo is like sonata (aka sonata-allegro or first movement sonata) form, except that the "first theme" reappears in the tonic at the end of both the exposition and the recapitulation.

The exposition itself has the first theme starting at measure 1 and repeating at measure 113, while the second theme starts at measure 76 (with the change of key to the dominant).

As sometimes happens in sonata-rondos, it's not entirely clear where the exposition ends and the development begins - this is somewhere between measures 127 and 139.

The recapitulation starts at measure 210 (with the first theme repeating after the cadenza), while the second theme starts at measure 240. (Note that the first theme area is much longer in the exposition, mainly with a longer orchestral section playing a longer version the first theme, along with a second solo variant of the main theme to balance it out.)

(If someone wants to edit timings in, go ahead - but I'm analyzing by reading the score faster than it actually takes to play through the piece.)

  • I thought sonata rondo also had the second theme (B) return in the tonic in the recap as B’. Is this not always the case? In this case is the second theme stated in m. 240 in the tonic key? Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 21:59
  • Yes - the second theme returns in the tonic at m. 240 Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 0:57

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