Liszt incorporated many themes which he had heard in his native Hungary and which he believed to be folk music, but which were in fact tunes written by contemporary composers, often played by Roma bands. The large scale structure of each was influenced by the verbunkos, a Hungarian dance in several parts, each with a different tempo.
Gan's recording is a transcription based on Horowitz's transcription of Liszt's second Rhapsody in C-sharp minor and is by far the most famous of the Hungarian Rhapsodies. Perhaps no other piano solo has enjoyed such widespread popularity, offering the pianist the opportunity to reveal exceptional skill as a virtuoso, while providing the listener with an immediate and irresistible musical appeal. In both the original piano solo form and in the orchestrated version this composition has enjoyed widespread use in animated cartoons. Its themes have also served as the basis of several popular songs.