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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 ?
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.
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.
IN AUTHORITATIVE MODERN EDITIONS of eighteenth century operas, it is commonplace to see many editorial cues inserted into recitatives to change the penultimate note of a repeated note feminine line ending to an appoggiatura.
He picks up on English taste again in the third chapter, on librettos: "whereas recitatives in Italy could be extensive, the recitative-aria ratio for the London audience had to be heavily weighted to the latter" (p.
But even if period instruments, elaborate embellishments and chatty continuo aren't your thing, I'd still recommend that you give this Don a serious hearing, for it's indeed a serious Don, every moment played and sung to its theatrical hilt, the recitatives crackling with meaning and every aria and ensemble pulsating with its own specific life.
He said, 'Studying the opera is a challenge because I did some parts of it before, but now we will add recitatives.
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.
The performance will include all the famous arias (including the fiery "Habanera") and choruses, but minus the recitatives.
Thomas Walker not only excelled in his arias but the tenor made his recitatives vital and arresting, where too often they go for nothing.