Brahms was resigned to the fact that few violinists would perform his concerto. This was not only because some claimed it was a concerto not so much for the violin as "against the violin", but because it was fiendishly difficult and, to the ears of his contemporaries, not as impressive as other works of musical bravura. Carry on reading
But it has gained supporters throughout the twentieth century and today no great international soloist shirks the challenge of "fighting" with the orchestra to defend this score. A few months before the first performance of Brahms’ concerto, Tchaikovsky had premiered his fourth symphony, another work that would have to wait until the twentieth century to be performed on a regular basis. It was poorly received by critics, who described it as “semi-barbaric”, but today it is the composer's most performed work. In contrast, Dvořák's Carnival was a success from the first time it was performed: an explosion of rhythm, colour and festive laughter that engulfs us from the first bars.