Taking up anew something that returns and changing it over and over again is an old, compelling formal idea in music, not least, because it guarantees a high degree of comprehensibility. The sounding out of the present viability of this today frowned-upon and apparently hopelessly outdated principle with all its formal surprises is the object of Rondes (which, by the way,is not identical with "Rondeaux").
Thereby, the "refrains" are kept short and consist of variously combined succinct-unpertubed one-measure gestures in a fluid structure. After signal-like wind-chime imitations employed like a roundelay and very broad expanses of sound, this pianissimo piece exceeds itself at the end, resulting in a content-related and therefore intrinsic change of instrumentation in the last "refrain".
Translation: Howard Weiner