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rec·i·ta·tive 1

 (rĕs′ĭ-tā′tĭv, rĭ-sī′tə-tĭv)
Of, relating to, or having the character of a recital or recitation.

rec·i·ta·tive 2

(rĕs′ĭ-tə-tēv′, rĕch′-)
1. 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.
2. A passage rendered in this style. In both senses also called recitativo.

[Italian recitativo, from recitare, to recite, from Latin recitāre; see recite.]


(Classical Music) 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
[C17: from Italian recitativo]


of or relating to recital


(ˈrɛs ɪˌteɪ tɪv, rɪˈsaɪ tə-)

of the nature of recital.


(ˌrɛs ɪ təˈtiv)

1. a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing.
2. a passage, part, or piece in this style.
[1635–45; < Italian recitativo. See recite, -ate1, -ive]


A singing style like declaimed speech, used for essential narration in some operas and oratorios.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.recitative - a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
musical passage, passage - a short section of a musical composition
arioso - (music) a short recitative that is melodic but is not an aria


A. ADJrecitativo
B. Nrecitado m


nRezitativ nt
References in classic literature ?
He was not a remarkably fluent reader, and was in the habit of reading in a sort of recitative half-aloud, by way of calling in his ears to verify the deductions of his eyes.
The actors made their entries and exits unobserved or unthought of; at certain conventional moments, the spectators would suddenly cease their conversation, or rouse themselves from their musings, to listen to some brilliant effort of Moriani's, a well-executed recitative by Coselli, or to join in loud applause at the wonderful powers of La Specchia; but that momentary excitement over, they quickly relapsed into their former state of preoccupation or interesting conversation.
When we moved off in this order, the natives struck up a musical recitative, which with various alternations, they continued until we arrived at the place of our destination.
As we proceeded on our way, bands of young girls, darting from the surrounding groves, hung upon our skirts, and accompanied us with shouts of merriment and delight, which almost drowned the deep notes of the recitative.
Now, then,--the recitative, for the sake of the moral.
Another interesting feature of two of these chorale settings involves the inclusion of short recitatives interpolated between the hymn verses in Christus, der ist mein Leben, and Jesu, meine Freude, which, along with the solo movements in the style of arias, certainly contribute to the cantata-like nature of these chorale settings.
Back again as a first-choice soloist, she has gained even more dramatic power and musicality, allied to a commanding stage presence, immediately obvious in her opening recitatives.
But in Part 2, he grows more dramatic, more of the storyteller, with his recitatives leading up to Peter's denial and the great alto aria,"Erbarme dich," becoming very emotional and expressive.
A strong bass delivered splendid recitatives -Alex Ashworth certainly entered into Handel's spirited account of God's wrath, darkness and fire -.
The performance will include all the famous arias (including the fiery "Habanera") and choruses, but minus the recitatives.
But the recitatives, arias and duets from Radamisto, Riccardo I and the scene from Giulio Cesare spoke their own eloquence.
Despite a series of arias, ensembles, choral passages and instrumental numbers, long sections are taken up by melodically very flat recitatives that soon begin to seem tiresome.