An extremely nice memory: in December of 2013 Balázs Fülei was playing Brahms’ Piano Concerto in D minor in the Palace of Arts, conducted by Zoltán Kocsis.
Johannes Brahms started composing this piece after a deeply shocking event: his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann attempted suicide in February 1854, by throwing himself into the Rhine. Originally, the piece was meant to be a two-piano sonata but Brahms felt that the musical material and the calibre of the message rather called for the piano concerto format. Re-making the piece went slowly, the young composer was not confident enough and considered himself to be unexperienced in orchestration. He kept sending finished movements to his good friend, Joseph Joachim, the excellent violinist who gave his opinion on everything and, if necessary, proposed alterations. The concerto premiered in January of 1859 in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig; however, its reception by both the audience and the critics was uncomprehending and reserved. Some time had to pass before the audience and the musical profession could appraise the Piano Concerto in D minor at its fair value, creating a new style among piano concertos as if being a huge symphony with an added piano part.