Variations on a Rococo Theme

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Variations on a Rococo Theme. Work for vc. and orch. by Tchaikovsky. Op.33. Comp. 1876 as introduction, theme, and 8 vars. for Ger. cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (1848–90), a colleague at Moscow Cons., who gave f.p. in Moscow Nov. 1877 with pf. accomp. ( N. Rubinstein). Fitzenhagen ed. vc. part and after f.p. made changes which he claimed were authorized by composer, e.g. he altered dynamics and phrasing, transferred cadenza and 3rd and 4th vars. to end of work, and omitted final var. Score pubd. in this vers., in which it is still usually heard, 1889. F.p. of Tchaikovsky's orig. score was given by Daniel Shafran in 1941. Pubd. 1956. Among cellists who have recorded orig. vers. are Julian Lloyd Webber and Steven Isserlis.