Csárdás (Monti)

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The first 13 bars of Vittorio Monti's "Csárdás"
"Csárdás" (1904) by Vittorio Monti, performed by the United States Air Force Band

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"Csárdás" (or "Czardas") is a composition by Italian composer Vittorio Monti. A rhapsodical concert piece written in 1904, it is a well-known folk piece based on a Hungarian csárdás.[1] It was originally composed for violin, mandolin or piano.[2] There are arrangements for orchestra and for a number of solo instruments. The duration of the piece is about four and a half minutes.[2]


The piece has seven different sections, each one of a different tempo and occasionally key. The first half of the piece is in D minor, then modulates to D major, back to D minor, and then finally finishes in D major. The first section is Andante – Largo, followed by a large increase in speed to Allegro vivo. This then slows down to Molto meno. The piece then slows down more to Meno, quasi lento. The piece then suddenly picks up in pace and is at Allegro vivace. It then slows down to Allegretto and finally to Molto più vivo. The tempo changes make the piece exciting and interesting, but even with all of these tempo changes, it is generally expected that there should be some rubato to add feeling to the piece. There are also many different dynamic changes in the piece, ranging from pianissimo to fortissimo.

In the Meno, quasi lento section, the violin plays stopped harmonics. This involves the violinist placing their finger down on the note and playing another note, with the finger only just touching the string 5 semitones above. This gives the effect of the violin sounding two octaves (24 semitones) higher.


  • The British Film Institute database lists a 1927 short film made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process by the Samehtini Trio, featuring this work played by a pianist and cellist.
  • The theme is also prominently featured in the 1951 Bollywood movie Awaara.
  • Japanese skater Mao Asada also used this piece for her long program in the 2006-2007 season.
  • Louis C.K. used this song as part of the introduction to episode 6 "Subway/Pamela" from season 2 of his show Louie.

Published scores[edit]

  • Monti: Czardas per violino e pianoforte. Z. 13 700 (Editio Musica Budapest).
  • The Celebrated Czardas by V. Monti F 102595 F (G. Ricordi & Co., London Limited)


External links[edit]