[rit-er-nel-oh; Italian ree-tawr-nel-law]
- an orchestral interlude between arias, scenes, or acts in 17th-century opera.
- a tutti section in a concerto grosso, aria, etc.
Origin of ritornello
1665–75; < Italian, diminutive of ritorno return
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ritornello
She sang a couplet and the others sang in chorus a ritornello.Critical Studies
The same may be said about the Stornello, Ritornello and Ciure.Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature
John Addington Symonds
What it probably did was to repeat as a sort of ritornello the clearly marked refrain of the song.Some Forerunners of Italian Opera
William James Henderson
The ritornello is first given, which is long, because it serves as an introduction to the first scene of the opera.Life Of Mozart, Vol. 2 (of 3)
- an orchestral passage between verses of an aria or song
- a ripieno passage in a concerto grosso
C17: from Italian, literally: a little return, from ritorno a return