from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adv. In a manner that is sustained as long as or beyond a note's full value. Used chiefly as a direction.
- n. A sostenuto passage or movement.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adv. played in a sustained manner beyond the notes normal value
- n. A note or passage marked to be sustained
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Sustained; -- applied to a movement or passage the sounds of which are to sustained to the utmost of the nominal value of the time; also, to a passage the tones of which are to be somewhat prolonged or protacted.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In music, sustained; prolonged: sometimes merely the same as tenuto, and sometimes implying in addition a slight reduction of speed. Abbreviated sost.
It also refers to marriage as a "wild sostenuto of the heart," a phrase I use as an anchor point in romantic conversations with my wife.
There are only a few sound characteristics that a pianist can control: hammer and damper timing, individual note velocities the force with which each note is struck, and the pedal controls, una corda, sostenuto and damper.
The piano is propably among the easiest instruments to apply this kind of processing to, but even here there are problems with techniques such as half-pedalling, use of sostenuto pedal, etc.
Mark it merely sostenuto, and let the conductor make the decision.
There is a solid bass A in the first, introductory bar (Molto sostenuto), then another A two bars later under "ciel."
"But my _tremolo_ -- my _sostenuto_ will be ruined," said Hippolyte wildly.
_Andante sostenuto_ -- moderately slow and sustained.
"It's worse," he repeated, his voice loud and harsh, like a discordant bell clashing in the sostenuto passage of a symphony; "but it's all one to me -- there's nothing else they can take; I'm free, free to sleep or wake, to be drunk when I like with no responsibility to Simmons or any one else --"
There is a good effect gained by sustaining certain notes over several measures, though few pianists get a real sostenuto.
Contemporary American Composers Being a Study of the Music of This Country, Its Present Conditions and Its Future, with Critical Estimates and Biographies of the Principal Living Composers; and an Abundance of Portraits, Fac-simile Musical Autographs, and Compositions
He not only possessed the mastery of touch in a transcendent degree and excelled in sostenuto playing by the use of the pedal, but actually discovered a method of making two hands produce the triple effect of melody, accompaniment, and bass on one keyboard — a resource exploited by many composers after him.