Schumann’s only piano concerto was first performed in 1845. It had started out, in 1841, as a Phantasie in a for piano and orchestra. This eventually became the first movement of the finished concerto to which, in the subsequent years, the composer had added two more movements (an Intermezzo and an Allegro vivace finale) to make up the complete work.
Schumann took Mendelssohn’s new take on the concerto even further into the formally freer and more overtly emotional world of Romanticism. The piece, as championed by Clara, the composer’s concert pianist wife, became and remains a great success – the epitome of the Romantic concerto.