Dvořák’s Symphonic variations on the theme ‘I am a fiddler’ op 78 is the result of a challenge by a friend. The theme is supposed to be impossible to create variations on. The resulting orchestral work was performed in Prague in December 1877, and found appeal by the audience. However, it was not picked up, neither by the press nor by Dvořák’s publisher. For ten years it disappeared in a drawer.
With the help of conductor Hans Richter Dvořák was able to revive the piece, sparkling the interest of both audience and his publisher. Now it is found a lot as a short addition to other orchestral work, and has gained popularity as a result.