• WordNet 3.6
    • n cadenza a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cadenza (Mus) A parenthetic flourish or flight of ornament in the course of a piece, commonly just before the final cadence.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cadenza In music, a more or less elaborate flourish or showy passage introduced, often extemporaneously, just before the end of an extended aria or concerto, or as a connective between an intermediate and a final division. It is always intended to display the technical proficiency of the performer, and to arouse wonder and applause, and hence, except in the hands of a master, is often deficient in intellectual or expressive character, as well as incongruous with the remainder of the piece. Modern composers, therefore, usually write out cadenzas in full, instead of trusting, as was customary in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to the taste and readiness of singers and players. Also called cadence.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cadenza a flourish given by a solo voice or instrument at the close of a movement
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. cad-ĕre, to fall.


In literature:

Limpid and liquid cadenzas, mellow flutings, and the sweet treble of infancy met and danced and piped in the airy soundings.
"The Crock of Gold" by James Stephens
At the end Signor Graziano stopped his playing to give time for an elaborate cadenza.
"Stories By English Authors: Italy" by Various
Taddeo enters and pours out his admiration for Colombina in an exaggerated cadenza as he offers her his basket of purchases.
"A Second Book of Operas" by Henry Edward Krehbiel
In these editions you will find three different groupings of the cadenzas.
"Chopin: The Man and His Music" by James Huneker
Rosalie, her little fat fingers staggering helplessly among the first cadenzas of the symphony.
"In the Days of My Youth" by Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards
He played this awful cadenza for us, and I must say it was ridiculous.
"The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912" by Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone
Accordingly he requested that the cadenza might be suppressed.
"A Book of the Play" by Dutton Cook
The roulades and cadenzas were subsequently added by the composer for Madame Christine Nilsson.
"Style in Singing" by W. E. Haslam
But as Dalton again broke out she joined him, Dodo quite impersonally adding her cadenza.
"Joyce's Investments" by Fannie E. Newberry
The air shook from her agile cadenzas.
"Sacrifice" by Stephen French Whitman
It is sprightly, and contains a fetching cadenza.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
The loneliness of the place was accentuated by the sad cadenzas of the mountain hermit thrushes.
"Birds of the Rockies" by Leander Sylvester Keyser
We shall have another rehearsal to-day; it will be quite a picnic, for Moscheles brings the cadenza and I the Tutti.
"Fragments of an Autobiography" by Felix Moscheles
And throughout the organ bubbled out its playful cadenzas.
"Ghetto Tragedies" by Israel Zangwill
There came the dainty scamper of cadenzas, a crashing chord, and silence.
"The Shooting of Dan McGrew, A Novel" by Marvin Dana
The cadenza is tough, I can tell you.
"Music-Study in Germany" by Amy Fay
I want vastly to conquer the horrid long bars of that eternal cadenza.
"The Wanderer (Volume 2 of 5)" by Fanny Burney
Now Anne-Marie is purling along the second cadenza.
"The Devourers" by Annie Vivanti Chartres
The Cadenzas were improvised, and Paganini, like Beethoven, in his improvisations surpassed anything he ever committed to paper.
"Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work" by Stephen Samuel Stratton
The cadenzas might be dispensed with, but, after all, the piece was written by Liszt, and cadenzas were a part of his nature.
"Franz Liszt" by James Huneker

In poetry:

Westward, hit a low note, for a roarer lost
across the Sound but north from Bremerton,
hit a way down note.
And never cadenza again of flowers, or cost.
Him who could really do that cleared his throat
& staggered on.
"Dream Song 18: A Strut for Roethke" by John Berryman

In news:

Pianist Brenda Tom performs a Shostakovich concerto this Saturday with the newly christened Cadenza (formerly the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra).
Levin has spent his career working to restore improvisation to performances of classical music, improvising cadenzas in Mozart concertos as would have been routine in Mozart's day.
Cadenza Edward Elgar EMI Classics.
Cadenza and Crescendo choirs perform at Drury Place at Alvamar, 1510 St Andrews Drive.
For the concerto 's third and final movement, Rautavaara made room for a cadenza, leaving all the ideas up to the soloist.
(CBS News) Leave it to cdza, short for Collective Cadenza, to start off our day right with another wacky and wild performance in their ongoing series of musical video experiments.
Luke Cadenza (red helmet) and Thomas Cadenza (blue helmet) skateboard at the Oxford Skate Park on Thursday, March 18, 2010.