Piano Concerto (Dvořák)
The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G minor, Op. 33, was the first of three concertos that Antonín Dvořák completed—it was followed by a violin concerto and then a cello concerto—and the piano concerto is probably the least known and least performed.
As the eminent music critic Harold C. Schonberg put it, Dvořák wrote "an attractive Piano Concerto in G minor with a rather ineffective piano part, a beautiful Violin Concerto in A minor, and a supreme Cello Concerto in B minor".
Dvořák composed his piano concerto from late August through 14 September 1876. Its autograph version contains many corrections, erasures, cuts and additions, the bulk of which were made in the piano part. The work was premiered in Prague on 24 March 1878, with the orchestra of the Prague Provisional Theatre conducted by Adolf Čech with the pianist Karel Slavkovsky.
While working on the concerto, Dvořák himself realized that he had not created a virtuosic piece in which the piano does battle with the orchestra. Dvořák wrote: "I see I am unable to write a Concerto for a virtuoso; I must think of other things." What Dvořák composed instead was a symphonic concerto in which the piano plays a leading part in the orchestra, rather than opposed to it.