Variations in Rondo Form for string quartet (1978)

Variations in Rondo Form /fragment/


Performers: Varsovia Quartet, Sala koncertowa PWSM, "Warsaw Autumn" 15 IX 1979, Polish Composers' Union

Variations in Rondo FormVariations in Rondo FormVariations in Rondo Form

PWM Edition

Baird’s third string quartet was mentioned by the composer himself in the programme booklet for its Polish premiere at the 23rd Warsaw Autumn:

The first ideas and drafts of the Variations in Rondo Form come from 1974-75. I wrote the piece in 1978 following a commission from the French Radio. It was premiered on 22 March 1979 in Paris by the “Varsovia” quartet. Its duration is about 19’.

The title fully reflects the technical solutions used by Baird. The whole is in the form of a rondo: A-B-A1-B1-codaA, in which sections A-A1-codaA serve as a refrain, while sections B-B1 – as couplets. The refrain is calm and mysterious, the couplets – energetic and motoric. The basic method employed in the composition is the creation of variants of the sound material based on four textural sound layers: “pointillist” (mysterious), melodic (very lyrical and expressive), motoric (energetic) and rotating (restless, murmuring). The work is characterised by conciseness of musical expression and balance in the content, technique and form.

Writing about the premiere of the quartet, H. Wyszyński wrote about Baird himself:

Here is an author who does not chase novelty. The means and methods used by the composer create in effect a link between tradition and progress, and this is probably why the work is hugely attractive to modern listeners.


  • Programme Booklet: 23rd Warsaw Autumn, Warsaw 1979, p. 28.
  • H. Wyszyński, “Nowy utwór Tadeusza Bairda. Notatki z prawykonania” [“A new work by Tadeusz Baird. Notes from the premiere], Ruch Muzyczny 1979, no. 12, p. 14.