Franz Schubert (Austrian, 1797-1828): Rondo Brillant in B Minor
Sergiu Luca and Joseph Kalichstein
Schubert is another composer whose birth we will celebrate during this challenge, but who merits more than one day. He lived a very short time--he passed away at the age of 31--but managed to write an inhuman amount of music (about 1500 pieces). He is known for very short pieces, like his myriad "lieder," or songs, and VERY long pieces, such as symphonies and piano sonatas that go on for as long as an hour! Be glad I'm not having you listen to one of those, but this Rondo definitely falls into the same category--the proportions are huge for what it is. (It's about 15 minutes.)
"Rondo" comes from the same root as "round"--the basic form is ABACADA...etc. In other words, the same theme ("A") comes "around" again and again with different interludes in between ("B", "C", etc.). This rondo is a little more complicated than most because there are a number of themes that recur, but also change a little bit with each iteration. There is also a slow introduction, which establishes the grandeur of the work. The actual rondo theme is kind of folksy and fun, and there's lots of contrast throughout the piece.
This file was made from a record my teacher recorded in 1980. I think it's the best recording, of course but if you have trouble opening it I've included one from youtube that's pretty good too.