Recitative

recitativessecco recitativeaccompagnatorecitativoparlandoaccompanied recitativerecitativo accompagnatoseccostile recitativorecitativo secco
Recitative (, also known by its Italian name "recitativo" ) is a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech.wikipedia
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Opera

opera singeroperasoperatic
Recitative (, also known by its Italian name "recitativo" ) is a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech. The first use of recitative in opera was preceded by the monodies of the Florentine Camerata in which Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei, played an important role.
In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias.

Cantata

cantatassecular cantatachurch cantata
Recitative (, also known by its Italian name "recitativo" ) is a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech. They also influenced areas of music outside opera from the outset; the recitatives of Johann Sebastian Bach, found in his passions and cantatas, are especially notable.
A cantata consisted first of a declamatory narrative or scene in recitative, held together by a primitive aria repeated at intervals.

Aria

ariasariettearietta
The mostly syllabic recitativo secco ("dry", accompanied only by continuo) is at one end of a spectrum through recitativo accompagnato (using orchestra), the more melismatic arioso, and finally the full-blown aria or ensemble, where the pulse is entirely governed by the music.
In such works, the sung, melodic, and structured aria became differentiated from the more speech-like (parlando) recitative – broadly, the latter tended to carry the story-line, the former carried more emotional freight and became an opportunity for singers to display their vocal talent.

Arioso

The mostly syllabic recitativo secco ("dry", accompanied only by continuo) is at one end of a spectrum through recitativo accompagnato (using orchestra), the more melismatic arioso, and finally the full-blown aria or ensemble, where the pulse is entirely governed by the music. This form is often employed where the orchestra can underscore a particularly dramatic text, as in Thus saith the Lord from Händel's Messiah; Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were also fond of it. A more inward intensification calls for an arioso; the opening of Comfort ye from the same work is a famous example, while the ending of it ("The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness") is secco.
In classical music, arioso (also aria parlante ) is a type of solo vocal piece, usually occurring in an opera or oratorio, falling somewhere between recitative and aria in style.

Accentus

Accentus of the Mass
The term recitative (or occasionally liturgical recitative) is also applied to the simpler formulas of Gregorian chant, such as the tones used for the Epistle, Gospel, preface and collects; see accentus.
The style is also known as liturgical recitative, though it differs in some important ways from other types of recitative.

Oratorio

oratoriosoratoriumoratoria
Recitative (, also known by its Italian name "recitativo" ) is a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech.
Female singers became regularly employed, and replaced the male narrator with the use of recitatives.

Florentine Camerata

CamerataCamerata de' BardiCamerata dei Poeti
The first use of recitative in opera was preceded by the monodies of the Florentine Camerata in which Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei, played an important role.
While propounding a revival of the Greek dramatic style, the Camerata's musical experiments led to the development of the stile recitativo.

Gregorian chant

GregorianchantGregorian plainchant
The term recitative (or occasionally liturgical recitative) is also applied to the simpler formulas of Gregorian chant, such as the tones used for the Epistle, Gospel, preface and collects; see accentus.
Gregorian chants fall into two broad categories of melody: recitatives and free melodies.

Monody

monodicmonodiesmonophonic
The first use of recitative in opera was preceded by the monodies of the Florentine Camerata in which Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei, played an important role.
Contrasting passages in monodies could be more melodic or more declamatory: these two styles of presentation eventually developed into the aria and the recitative, and the overall form merged with the cantata by about 1635.

La Cenerentola

CinderellaCendrillonCenerentola
This division of labour persisted in some of Rossini's works; the secco recitatives for The Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola were composed by assistants.
Rossini saved some time by reusing an overture from La gazzetta and part of an aria from The Barber of Seville and by enlisting a collaborator, Luca Agolini, who wrote the secco recitatives and three numbers (Alidoro's "Vasto teatro è il mondo", Clorinda's "Sventurata! Mi credea" and the chorus "Ah, della bella incognita").

Baroque music

BaroqueBaroque eraBaroque period
In the baroque era, recitatives were commonly rehearsed on their own by the stage director, the singers frequently supplying their own favourite baggage arias which might be by a different composer (some of Mozart's so-called concert arias fall into this category).
This harmonic simplification also led to a new formal device of the differentiation of recitative (a more spoken part of opera) and aria (a part of opera that used sung melodies).

Vincenzo Galilei

GALILEI, VINCENZIOnamesake grandfatherVincenzo
The first use of recitative in opera was preceded by the monodies of the Florentine Camerata in which Vincenzo Galilei, father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei, played an important role.
The use of recitative in opera is widely attributed to Galilei, since he was one of the inventors of monody, the musical style closest to recitative.

Musical theatre

musicalmusicalsmusical comedy
Recitative is also occasionally used in musicals, being put to ironic use in the finale of Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera.
Spoken dialogue is generally interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used, especially in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, Evita and Hamilton.

Johann Sebastian Bach

BachJ.S. BachJ. S. Bach
They also influenced areas of music outside opera from the outset; the recitatives of Johann Sebastian Bach, found in his passions and cantatas, are especially notable.
Similar with recitatives followed by da capo arias, four-part choral music, use of basso continuo etc. The specifics of his style lie with characteristics such as his skill in contrapuntal invention and motivic control and his talent for writing tightly woven music of powerful sonority.

Don Giovanni

Donna AnnaDon OttavioZerlina
There are examples of the revival of the harpsichord for this purpose as early as the 1890s (e.g. by Hans Richter for a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the London Royal Opera House, the instrument being supplied by Arnold Dolmetsch), but it was not until the 1950s that the 18th-century method was consistently observed once more.
The score calls for double woodwinds, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones (alto, tenor, bass), timpani, basso continuo for the recitatives, and the usual string section.

Giacomo Meyerbeer

MeyerbeerMeyerbeer, GiacomoG. Meyerbeer
A 1919 recording of Rossini's Barber of Seville, issued by Italian HMV, gives a unique glimpse of this technique in action, as do cello methods of the period and some scores of Meyerbeer.
The name Giacomo Meyerbeer first became known internationally with his opera Il crociato in Egitto—premiered in Venice in 1824 and produced in London and Paris in 1825; incidentally, it was the last opera ever written to feature a castrato, and the last to require keyboard accompaniment for recitatives.

Messiah (Handel)

MessiahThe MessiahHandel's ''Messiah
This form is often employed where the orchestra can underscore a particularly dramatic text, as in Thus saith the Lord from Händel's Messiah; Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were also fond of it. A more inward intensification calls for an arioso; the opening of Comfort ye from the same work is a famous example, while the ending of it ("The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness") is secco.
Each scene is a collection of individual numbers or "movements" which take the form of recitatives, arias and choruses.

Giulio Caccini

CacciniCACCINI, GUILIO ROMANO
Secco recitatives, popularized in Florence though the proto-opera music dramas of Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini during the late 16th century, formed the substance of Claudio Monteverdi's operas during the 17th century, and continued to be used into the 19th century Romantic era by such composers as Gaetano Donizetti, reappearing in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
Caccini's achievement was to create a type of direct musical expression, as easily understood as speech, which later developed into the operatic recitative, and which influenced numerous other stylistic and textural elements in Baroque music.

Porgy and Bess

The Gershwins' Porgy and BessPorgy & BessI Got Plenty o' Nuttin
George Gershwin used it in his opera Porgy and Bess, though sometimes the recitative in that work is changed to spoken dialogue.
The orchestra was reduced, the cast was halved, and many recitatives were reduced to spoken dialog.

Gioachino Rossini

RossiniGioacchino RossiniG. Rossini
This division of labour persisted in some of Rossini's works; the secco recitatives for The Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola were composed by assistants. A 1919 recording of Rossini's Barber of Seville, issued by Italian HMV, gives a unique glimpse of this technique in action, as do cello methods of the period and some scores of Meyerbeer.
Rossini's handling of arias (and duets) in cavatina style marked a development from the eighteenth-century commonplace of recitative and aria.

Jacopo Peri

PeriJacapo PeriPERI, JACOBO
Secco recitatives, popularized in Florence though the proto-opera music dramas of Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini during the late 16th century, formed the substance of Claudio Monteverdi's operas during the 17th century, and continued to be used into the 19th century Romantic era by such composers as Gaetano Donizetti, reappearing in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
They believed contemporary art was inferior to classical Greek and Roman works, and decided to attempt to recreate Greek tragedy, as they understood it. Their work added to that of the Florentine Camerata of the previous decade, which produced the first experiments in monody, the solo song style over continuo bass which eventually developed into recitative and aria.

Song

songstrackstrack
As a result, it is less improvisational and declamatory than recitativo secco, and more song-like.
A song may be for a solo singer, a lead singer supported by background singers, a duet, trio, or larger ensemble involving more voices singing in harmony, although the term is generally not used for large classical music vocal forms including opera and oratorio, which use terms such as aria and recitative instead.

Harpsichord

cembaloharpsichordsclavecin
Later, in the operas of Vivaldi and Händel, the accompaniment was standardised as a harpsichord and a bass viol or violoncello.
In the late 18th century the harpsichord was supplanted by the piano and almost disappeared from view for most of the 19th century: an exception was its continued use in opera for accompanying recitative, but the piano sometimes displaced it even there.

Messiah Part I

Every valley shall be exaltedPart IFor Unto Us A Child Is Born
This form is often employed where the orchestra can underscore a particularly dramatic text, as in Thus saith the Lord from Händel's Messiah; Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were also fond of it. A more inward intensification calls for an arioso; the opening of Comfort ye from the same work is a famous example, while the ending of it ("The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness") is secco.
The movements marked "Recitative" are "secco", accompanied by only the continuo, whereas the recitatives marked "Accompagnato" are accompanied by additional string instruments.

George Gershwin

GershwinGeorgeG. Gershwin
George Gershwin used it in his opera Porgy and Bess, though sometimes the recitative in that work is changed to spoken dialogue.
The music combines elements of popular music of the day, with a strong influence of African-American music, of the period, with techniques typical of opera, such as recitative, through-composition and an extensive system of leitmotifs.