The concerto, completed in 1933, was premiered in Prague on September 26, 1934 with the Kolisch Quartet. It was performed first in the United States by the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock also with the Kolisch Quartet in 1936, and by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1938. The Concerto is not an arrangement but rather a free setting, creating a work of Schoenberg's own based on the Handel concerto grosso.
Perhaps this statement by Schoenberg himself will serve as the best guide and most constructive way to listen to his music, "I am somewhat sad that people talk so much of atonality, of twelvetone systems, of technical methods, when it comes to my music. All music, all human work has a skeleton, a circulatory and nervous system. I wish that my music should be considered as an honest and intelligent person who comes to us saying something he feels deeply and which is of significance to all of us.