In 1863, Saint-Saëns wrote a solo piece for Sarasate: The Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor for violin and orchestra. The Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra was originally intended to be the rousing Finale to Saint-Saëns' first violin concerto, op.20. Despite their later disagreements, Claude Debussy arranged the piece for two pianos in the earlier years of his career.
The piece opens with a 36-bar theme in A minor, establishing key as well as rhythmic and harmonic themes. The orchestra supports the violin with block chord progressions while the soloist plays virtuosic arpeggios and chromatic scalar passages. Saint-Saëns destabilizes the rhythm of the soloist oscillating between syncopated rising arpeggios and falling eighth notes.[clarification needed] In bar 18 the motion picks up when the tempo indication changes from Andante malinconico to animato and the soloist jumps into a rapid thirty-second note line.