Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44
The Piano Quintet in Eb, Op. 44 by Schumann was composed in 1842 and performed in public the next year. It is often considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of 19th century chamber music. Its revolutionary instrumentation (combining string quartet with piano) was indicative of the changing technical capabilities of the piano, and the cultural importance the string quartet had acquired. The work alternates chamber-music procedures with concertante-like sections. Prior to 1842, Schumann had written only one chamber piece. It is argued that this work is influenced by Schubert's Piano Trio no. 2, as the are in the same key and share compositional techniques. The work was dedicated to Clara Schumann, and she was due to perform it in the private premiere. However, due to her being ill, Mendelssohn stepped in, sight reading the piano part. His suggestions led the composer to make revisions to the piece.