Theme with Variations

Year of Premiere: 
Hans Krása
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Leonid Keylin, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello

Theme and Variations was not written in Terezín, but was probably heard there for the first time. The theme had been composed in 1935 as part of the incidental music to a light theatrical piece by Hoffmeister. It had proved so popular as "Anna's song" that Krasa then incorporated it into his string quartet and his Chamber Music for Harpsichord and Seven Instruments. Krasa left Terezín on October 16, 1944, in the company of Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas and others, and was gassed in Auschwitz the following day.