Vittorio Monti

Csárdás, for violin & piano

    Description by Michael Jameson

    Monti's Csárdás is quite possibly the best-known example of Hungarian-style gypsy fiddle music ever written, yet ironically was the work of an Italian who spent most of his life in France. The piece falls into two sharply contrasted sections. After a brief introduction, the violinist enters with an octave leap on the G (lowest) string, beginning a slow, sonorous, melancholic theme suggestive of the exiled Hungarian gypsy yearning for his motherland. This leads to the fast, folk-dance-like section (making up the larger part of the work) based on the Hungarian dance from which the work derives its name. Off-beat accents and driving bravura passagework allow the soloist to demonstrate virtuoso flair, though during this display, there is a brief reminder of the slow introductory section, when one of its motifs returns and is played entirely in harmonics. The pulsing gyspsy dance soon returns, however, leading to an affirmative ending. Monti's Csárdás was once part of the staple repertoire of every café and hotel orchestra in Europe's holiday resorts and spa towns. Its composer, born in Naples in 1868, worked chiefly as an orchestral violinist and teacher of violin and mandolin in Paris. Monti's enduring fame rests upon this one work alone, though he composed in excess of 30 light operettas and comic operas, some of which achieved significant success in their day, but have now long since passed into obscurity. Even the Morceau de Concert La Zingaresca for violin and piano, a brilliant and effective sibling of the famous Csárdás itself, has also been forgotten.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 ABC Classics
    2015 Revamped
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4791069
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon B 001975802
    2014 Erato 2564636958
    2013 Divine Art DDA 21222
    2013 Titanic TI- 278
    2012 Decca / Universal
    2010 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099945852
    2010 BIS 1823
    2010 Auris Subtilis 7771025
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926475
    2009 TON 4 / Zebralution
    2009 CD Baby / Daisy Jopling/Bojan Dugic 50108934
    2009 Ton 4 / Zebralution
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 Onyx ONYX 4039
    2007 EMI Classics VTDCD 897
    2007 SOMM 64
    2007 EMI Music Distribution 3799349
    2007 Deag / Decca 425021660028
    2006 MSR Classics 1118
    2006 Analekta 33549
    2006 Estile
    2006 Edel Records 9101212
    2006 Quartz QTZ 2029
    2005 Koch / Koch/Linus / Linus Entertainment 270068
    2003 Thorofon 2448
    2003 ATMA Classique 22141
    2002 Concas/Mondragon / Concas-Mondragon Prod 69998
    2002 CD Accord / Universal Distribution 110
    2002 Naxos 8558040-46
    2000 Capriccio Records 49275
    2000 Summit Records 267
    1999 St. Clair 4256
    1998 Opening Day Recordings 9313
    1998 St. Clair / Premium Latin Music / Premium Music 6036
    1998 Classic FM 8
    1997 Naxos 8 553427
    1997 ASV CDWHL 2106
    1995 Chandos 4536
    1995 Gallo 761
    1994 Ode Records 1310
    1994 Chandos CHAN4532
    1993 Arion 68115
    1993 Arion 68115
    1992 ASV CDWHL2072
    Audi 1997
    The Schiller Family 1206
    Warner Music
    PricewaterhouseCoopers 2007