American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A portion of a musical composition that permits a performer to make a display of technique, especially in the rapid execution of scales and arpeggios, and that has little thematic or structural importance to the whole: The concerto contained brilliant passagework for the soloist.
- n. A musician's performance of this portion of a composition: her virtuosic passagework.
- n. music An ornamental passage in a musical work, often resembling a scale; or the performance of such a passage
- passage + work (Wiktionary)
“The piano part is Herculean in its running passagework, but everyone gets a workout in this pinnacle of early Romantic era chamber music.”
“As Costanza, mezzo Isabel Leonard was the most affecting of the singers, with consistent vocal production, smooth legato and elegant florid passagework.”
“That seemed to promise a slamming good time, and they did show off a spectacular minute of passagework that might have been subtitled Dueling Xylophones.”
“Hodges was supremely virtuosic, dispatching thorny hedges of passagework, but playing with more of a "new-music" tone — bright, sharp, clear, lightly pedaled — than Rosen's more lush approach.”
“Peterson could judiciously vary the touch, tone, and weight of every one of those many notes so that the swing was embedded within the passagework.”
“As in the Double Concerto on the festival's opening program, Rosen brought an old-school pianistic touch, the accents integrated into the flow rather than spiking out from it, the passagework more a legato wash than a cloud of sparks.”
“But Liszt's genius lies in the way he later pared down these excesses, while still finding ways to make such passagework – the parts that allow a performer to make a display of their technique – sound harder.”
“For this kind of soft passagework, a slower drying medium helps.”
“Paremski took it all in stride, unleashing giant volleys of dissonant chords and explosive passagework with the confidence of a true master.”
“And because Arghamanyan delivers even the most brilliant passagework with daunting analytical clarity - defining harmonies, bringing out individual notes, sculpting melodies out of the figuration or finding places for rhetorical emphasis - one can't help but hear specific gestures rather than special, or general, effects.”
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