Whilst unfulfilled passion and unre- quited love have driven many to depression, Béla Bartók was able to sublimate such personal disappointment into exuberant creativity. In February 1908, after his passionate courting attempts had been rejected by the Swiss violinist, Stefi Geyer, Bartók wrote her: “Having read your letter, I sat down at the piano – and had the sad premonition that, in life, music is to be my only consolation.” He illustrated these lines with a musical quotation which included the broken major-seventh chord, c-sharp – e – g-sharp – b-sharp, adding the words: “This is your leitmotiv.” It will have been particularly bitter for the composer that he had completed the score of the violin concerto, which had been written for Stefi, and into which he had poured his profound feelings for her, just a few days before her rejection. It is also to her that he dedicated the concerto, which, as in “a narcotic dream” (Römer), had been inspired a year earlier by his intoxicating love for her, but he did not do so without adding a tragic poem by Béla Balázs to the autograph score. Stefi Geyer kept the score until her death in 1956, with- out every performing the concerto publicly. It was not until 30 May 1958, thirteen years after Bartók’s death, that the concerto finally had its first public performance, in Basel, under the baton of Paul Sacher, with Hansheinz Schneeberger as soloist.