cadenza

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noun ca·den·za \kə-ˈden-zə\

Definition of cadenza

  1. 1 :  a parenthetical flourish in an aria or other solo piece commonly just before a final or other important cadence

  2. 2 :  a technically brilliant sometimes improvised solo passage toward the close of a concerto

  3. 3 :  an exceptionally brilliant part of an artistic and especially a literary work

Recent Examples of cadenza from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cadenza'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


CADENZA Defined for English Language Learners

cadenza

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noun

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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