Monti’s ‘Czárdás’ sounds unbelievably seductive on a saxophone

5 February 2018, 17:25

Vittorio Monti’s ‘Czárdás’ has one of the most iconic openings in classical music – but you’ve probably only heard it played on a violin. Have a listen to how it sounds on a saxophone…

The opening to ‘Czárdás’ is slow, schmoozy and lovely. And on a saxophone, it sounds even slower, schmoozier and lovelier.

From the cheeky turns and trills to the warm vibrato on the long C sharp, the whole performance is just one musically seductive trick after another.

There must also be some kind of multiple tonguing involved in the fast passage, because saxophonist Maxime Bazerque and pianist Claire Arbus’s interpretation is impressively speedy.

‘Czárdás’ was originally composed for either violin, mandolin or piano, but since its composition in 1904, it has attracted covers on a range of  instruments.

Here it is, played by a miniature-sized five-piece string ensemble: