Just a few variations

Tchaikovsky was an enthusiastic student at the St. Petersberg Conservatoire.  Anton Rubinstein asked Tchaikvosky to write a series of contrapuntal variations on a given theme.  "I expected that he would present me with about a dozen.  But Tchaikovsky turned up the next class day with more than two hundred!"

Cited in: Hanson, Lawrence and Elisabeth (1965) Tchaikovsky: A New Study of the Man and His Music.  London: Cassell & Company, p.62.