- pertaining to or of the nature of recital.
Origin of recitative1
- of the nature of or resembling recitation or declamation.
- a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing.
- a passage, part, or piece in this style.
Origin of recitative2
Examples from the Web for recitative
I have been there, and have laughed heartily at the recitative in your operas.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
But for us who have heard the chorus first, the recitative seems poor and thin.John Lyly
John Dover Wilson
The recitative stopped; there was a murmur of mingled voices, and footsteps.Nicanor - Teller of Tales
C. Bryson Taylor
To tell the truth, this chant is only a recitative, broken off and taken up at pleasure.The Devil's Pool
Scenes sung as recitative, with musical accompaniment, in MSS.The Student's Companion to Latin Authors
- a passage in a musical composition, esp the narrative parts in an oratorio, set for one voice with either continuo accompaniment only or full accompaniment, reflecting the natural rhythms of speech
- of or relating to recital
Word Origin and History for recitative
"style of musical declamation intermediate between speech and singing, form of song resembling declamation," 1650s, from Italian recitativo, from recitato, past participle of recitare, from Latin recitare "read out, read aloud" (see recite). From 1640s as an adjective. The Italian form of the word was used in English from 1610s.
A part of a cantata, opera, or oratorio in which singers converse, describe action, or declaim. It moves the action forward between the high musical moments. Recitatives are distinguished from arias, which are more expressive and musically more elaborate. Recitatives usually have only one syllable of text for each note of music, and the accompaniment by instruments is often very simple.