recitative

noun
rec·i·ta·tive | \ ˌre-sə-tə-ˈtēv , ˌre-stə- \

Definition of recitative 

1 : a rhythmically free vocal style that imitates the natural inflections of speech and that is used for dialogue and narrative in operas and oratorios also : a passage to be delivered in this style

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Other words from recitative

recitative adjective

Examples of recitative in a Sentence

the second recitative of Act II The opera made use of recitative.

Recent Examples on the Web

Thanks to the conductor Ryan Brown and the four singers, the recitatives between the set pieces stayed suspenseful; the act took us through quite a spectrum. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: Lafayette’s Double Bill of Baroque Opera and Dance Drama," 4 Feb. 2018 Media: Amber Elliot, Houston Chronicle Addressing the crowd in Norma’s first lines of dramatic recitative, Monastyrska got off to a rough start, her tone turning harsh at the top of her range and not ideally centered on pitch. Eric Skelly, Houston Chronicle, "Review: HGO’s ‘Norma’ is grand, but lead can’t ‘Let It Go’," 1 May 2018 Soprano Golda Schultz was frankly perfect in her recitatives and arias. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra pulls off a save after illness strikes singers in Haydn's 'The Seasons' (review)," 19 Jan. 2018 Addressing the crowd in Norma’s first lines of dramatic recitative, Monastyrska got off to a rough start, her tone turning harsh at the top of her range and not ideally centered on pitch. Eric Skelly, Houston Chronicle, "Review: HGO’s ‘Norma’ is grand, but lead can’t ‘Let It Go’," 1 May 2018 Abreu brings off the suicidal artist’s 30-minute succession of arias and accompanied recitatives most skillfully, while Mortellaro makes a most alluring love-object. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Opera Theater brings flair to comic, serious Donizetti one-acters," 15 Apr. 2018 Out of five arias and four recitatives, Forsythe and a vivacious orchestra under Jeannette Sorrell crafted so many individual scenes, each with its own character and mood. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Apollo's Fire emerges victorious from 'Three Duels and a Wedding' (review)," 12 Feb. 2018 Here, with help from the pop/rock orchestration of music director Ben Kapilow, brief speech slides gracefully into recitative, then bursts into song as the passion of the speaker rises. Hugh Hunter, Philly.com, "'Next to Normal' at Media Theatre: Authentic, stunning, unhappy, yet happy to be alive," 4 Feb. 2018 The conducting was brisk and buoyant, the recitatives clear and expressive. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Don Giovanni’ Review: Lurid Desire in a Pure Musical Vision," 21 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of recitative

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recitative

Italian recitativo, from recitare to recite, from Latin

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2018

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The first known use of recitative was in 1654

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More Definitions for recitative

recitative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of recitative

music : a passage in vocal music (such as an opera) in which the words are sung in a way that resembles speech

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about recitative

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