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In an opera, oratorio, cantata, or other multi-movement vocal compositions, a recitative is a narrative song that describes some action, thought, or emotion. The recitative follows the natural flow of the language, and is more a speaking composition than a singing composition. The two styles of recitative are the dry (secco) style and the accompanied (accompagnato) or measured recitative (recitative misurato or stromentato) style.


Recitative, secco, Classical: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni, Act I, "Chi é la?"

See Also

[Abbreviation] R.
[French] récitative (m)
[German] Rezitativ (n)
[Italian] recitativo (m)


Last Updated: 2016-06-07 13:57:07