Tchaikovsky wrote this piece for and with the help of Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, a German cellist and fellow-professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Fitzenhagen gave the premiere in Moscow on November 30, 1877, with Nikolai Rubinstein conducting. This was perhaps the only hearing of the Variations as Tchaikovsky wrote the piece until 1941, when it was played in Moscow without Fitzenhagen's by-then-standard emendations.
More pieces by Tchaikovsky
- Polonaise, Eugene Onegin
- Serenade for Strings in C major (Op. 48)
- Symphony No. 6, Pathétique
- Violin Concerto