Although it was originally published as the Concerto grosso, the composer subsequently preferred to call this work a Concerto for Orchestra, for the work is really of a larger conception than that which the earlier title implies. After its impressive premiere in 1939 at the International Music Festival in Baden-Baden, by the municipal orchestra there under the direction of Gotthold E. Lessing, the Concerto received considerable attention and became the composer’s most performed symphonic work in Germany and abroad. Furtwängler had programmed the work not only in Berlin but also on tour with the Berlin Philharmonic in Hamburg and Dresden (October 1939). Perhaps partly propelled by Furtwängler’s interest in the work, many other eminent maestri also included it in their repertoire, including Oswald Kabasta, Karl Elmendorff, Hans Rosbaud, Hans Weisbach, Franz Konwitschny and, later in the 1950’s, also Georg Solti. This work received the Nationalen Musikpreis in Composition in 1940.