from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of, relating to, or having the character of a recital or recitation.
- n. A style used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation and little orchestral accompaniment.
- n. A passage rendered in this style.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. dialogue, in an opera etc, that, rather than being sung as an aria, is reproduced with the rhythms of normal speech, often with simple musical accompaniment or harpsichord continuo, serving to expound the plot
- adj. of a recital
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Of or pertaining to recitation; intended for musical recitation or declamation; in the style or manner of recitative.
- n. A species of musical recitation in which the words are delivered in a manner resembling that of ordinary declamation; also, a piece of music intended for such recitation; -- opposed to
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In music, in the style of a recitative; as if spoken.
- n. In music:
- n. A form or style of song resembling declamation—that is, in which regularity of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic structure is reduced to the minimum.
- n. A section, passage, or movement in the style described above.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
The function of the recitative is to relate the story or action; the aria reflects on the action or becomes a state of mind; and the chorus completes the thought, summarizes the situation, or participates in the action (the turba chorus).
Literature, A.W. Schlegel writes that the "learned and artificial modulation" of recitative is less
He heard from within a feeble sound of lamentation, and then some notes of that solemn and peculiar kind of recitative, which is in some parts of Italy the requiem of the dying.
4 Despite his general suspicion of Italian opera, Addison approved of the innovation of sung dialogue in recitative, remarking that
When the Italians revived tragedy in the sixteenth century the recitative was a melopée which could not be written; for who could write inflections of the voice which are octaves and sixths of tone?
Singing and recitation -- as the very word recitative should be enough to remind any one -- pass into each other by degrees imperceptible to any but a technical ear; and the instruments, if any, which accompanied the performance of the _chansons_, the extent of that accompaniment, and the rest, concern, if they concern history at all, the history of music, not that of literature.
The declamation and the dramatic treatment of the recitative were the points upon which his attention principally dwelt.
The flow of his verse in the recitative is the most pure and harmonious known in any language, and the strophes at the close of each scene are scarcely surpassed by the first masters in lyric poetry.
Add to this, that, besides the common dialect, they often expostulate, in a kind of stanza or recitative, which is answered in the same manner.
So the villain Argante is trying, the musical conversation mode known as recitative, to force himself on Almirena, and I guess my mind is mostly on the work I'm doing on-screen, and suddenly I'm riveted.