Tchaikovsky was suffering from mental despair until he heard the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, which had deeply inspired him to compose a violin concerto. Returning to the joys of living, he began to work on this new piece, even before completing the one in hand. In the beginning of April, Tchaikovsky's enthusiasm finished the sketches of the concerto in less than a month, then the orchestration only a few days later. One of the unique qualities of this piece is the orchestra tutti at the very beginning, which does not appear again.
He was displeased with the 2nd movement after reviewing the sketch with a friend, Kotek, therefore replaced it with the Canzonetta, the movement performed today. Although Kotek, who Tchaikovsky had asked to be the first to perform this piece and had already mastered the 1st movement, lost interest in this piece. Tchaikovsky then requested to another violinist, Leopold Auer, to premiere the piece. However, he declared it was "unviolinistic" or impossible to be played. Finally in December of that year, the concerto was premiered in Vienna by Adolf Brodsky. The concert received multiple negative reviews, one being that the piece was "stinking music", which devastated Tchaikovsky. No one would have ever guessed that this Violin Concerto would become one of the classic violin concertos of all time.