A passionate exploration of traditional pieces at the heart of the Gypsy repertoire. These perfectly coordinated ensemble pieces center around the first violinist, who leads the ensemble. In their performance of the czardas, the slow opening lassu section is played with a deeply moving lyricism and pathos, and is followed by the friss section, in which the tempo picks up as the performers play fiercely passionate rhythms with flawlessly coordinated dynamism. Since these orchestras rarely use musical notation, and improvise according to their mood and that of the audience, the same piece will never be played in the same way, either by different ensembles or even by the same ensemble on different occasions. Laszlo Berki is among the most renowned exponents of the Gypsy violin. As well as working with his own ensemble, which performs on this recording, he is active with the National Folklore Ensemble and a one hundred-piece Gypsy orchestra. In 1992, the same year in which this project was recorded, Berki organized an international festival of the Gypsy arts. This festival was an important event which presented the Gypsies-a people with a long-established reputation as nomads-the opportunity to come together and cement the cultural and ethnic bonds which link them. An innovative spirit with a strong grasp of the traditional, Berki believes that in order for Gypsy violinists to present an always-challenging performance, they should not blindly follow tradition, but should constantly strive to play their music in an inspired and uninhibited manner, a philsophy which is strikingly manifest on this recording.