About Robert Schumann's Works for piano and orchestra
After his marriage to Clara, Schumann's output of short pieces for solo piano music dropped. Instead, he started to produce a host of large-scale masterworks: Symphonies, Oratorios, chamber music works and song cycles. His only Piano Concerto bookends these years of manic creativity. Composed in just two weeks in May 1841, the first movement was originally conceived as an independent Phantasie, which was never publicly performed. The final movements of the concerto were added in 1845. The piece would become a signature piece for Clara, who made half the total performances of the work before 1900.
Four more years would elapse before Schumann wrote for piano and orchestra again. The Introduction and Allegro appassionato Op. 92 was met with indifference at its premiere in 1849. A second performance two years later found a much warmer response. Still, the full score wasn't published until 1873, long after Schumann's death.
The Introduction and Allegro Op. 134 was a birthday present for Clara in 1853, and is dedicated to Johannes Brahms, who visited the Schumann’s during that time. Less than three months later Robert tried to commit suicide and was placed in an asylum. The emphasis is entirely on the piano here - an extended cadenza takes up almost a quarter of the entire piece.