Luboš Fišer (1935–1999) was one of the most distinctive figures of Czech
music in the 20th century and composed the Variations on an Unknown
Theme in 1976.
The “unknown theme” was a prankish eight-bar
theme from Fišer’s student days. In the elation following the home-team
win over Canada on 15 March 1959, he made a bet with his colleague
Kalach to compose a concert piece for violin and orchestra with the
working title “Canada-Rondo”. The whimsical contest was abandoned, but
Fišer did not forget the theme and he later created variations on it for
his new composition for the Talich Quartet.
The Variations on an
Unknown Theme have now been published for the first time ever. This
edition is based on the autograph of the score which is housed in the
Czech Museum of Music in Prague.