As typical Hungarian Gypsy folk music, Csardas style is also used in Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances” and Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen”. The style consists of two parts: a slow and passionate beginning called “Lassan”, and an up-tempo section called “Friska”. The tempo change and strongly syncopated dance steps are characteristic of Csardas’ folk dance origins.
The title of this work by Monti (1868-1922) uses the actual name of the dance music; it’s written in Csardas style. From the beginning to the 19th bar is Lassan, and from C is Friska. The original was for violin and piano, but this arrangement for clarinet quartet splendidly utilizes the ensemble effect through instrument substitution and creation of additional passages. All voices and parts are important because of limited instrumentation, so all players should understand their parts exactly and strive to perform with precision.