Definition of cadenza
1 : a parenthetical flourish in an aria or other solo piece commonly just before a final or other important cadence
2 : a technically brilliant sometimes improvised solo passage toward the close of a concerto
3 : an exceptionally brilliant part of an artistic and especially a literary work
Recent Examples of cadenza from the Web
The intensely chordal nature of Roberts' solo evoked shades of Dave Brubeck, and drummer Gratteau's extended cadenza conveyed a narrative quality that justly drew a warm ovation.
His cadenza (by his brother Andrew) was effective, though wandering from Mozart’s style.
Either way, Potter gave listeners a great deal to ponder in the first of several titanic cadenzas.
The concerto has an infamous extended cadenza that is technically challenging and often hard to deliver in live performances.
As his banister, Mr. Andres seizes on the cadenza Beethoven wrote for the first movement of the Second Concerto some two decades after its initial publication in 1801.
The pianist seized every opportunity to put his stamp on the work and mostly managed to do so, particularly during cadenza-like solo sections or any other time the composer’s contemplative side held sway.
The heart of the second cadenza is an imperious elaboration of the suave, sauntering theme with which the concerto begins.
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Did You Know?
A concerto is a large piece for an instrumental soloist (usually playing piano or violin) and orchestra. Concertos are often extremely demanding for the soloist, but the most difficult part of all may be the cadenza, when the orchestra drops out completely, leaving the soloist to dazzle the audience with a set of flourishes, often completely original, right before a movement ends. Cadenzas are also heard in many vocal arias, especially those of the 18th century. The word, borrowed from Italian, originally meant "cadence;" thus, the cadenza, even if it lasts for a couple of minutes, is essentially a decoration of the final important harmonic cadence of the piece.
Origin and Etymology of cadenza
Italian, cadence, cadenza
First Known Use: 1783See Words from the same year
CADENZA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cadenza for English Language Learners
: a difficult part of a piece of classical music that is performed by only one person near the end of the piece
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