The piano introduction starts with fragments of the theme and after a short violin cadenza we hear the typical dance theme in full. The melody is played twice in the violin – the second time with double-stops and chords. The next theme is, by contrast, quiet and mellow. Another violin cadenza leads into the slow and hearty theme with cimbalom-like accompaniment. A sudden change in tonality with a short and quick dance tune is followed by a recapitulation in the violin’s high register. Once again a change of mood brings us to the dancing, dotted tune, first in the piano, then together with the violin. This tune appears also in Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody
No 6. The second part of this tune has a short, slower motif. A series of variations uses both motifs. A short interlude continues with variations of the motif, and the work ends with an elaborate coda. János Lavotta (1764–1820) was a composer of recruitment (verbunkos) instrumental dance music.
from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2004