Definition of cadenza in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈdɛnzə/


A virtuoso solo passage inserted into a movement in a concerto or other musical work, typically near the end.
Example sentences
  • He remains silent in the melancholy slow movement but recovers for the finale, a virtuoso cadenza for solo violin and percussion, the violinist consoled at the end by two clarinets.
  • In the 20th century some players inserted wildly inappropriate cadenzas in Classical concertos, either displaying flashy technique or modulating to keys so remote as to wreck the tonal balance of the movement.
  • He takes up a treasured tradition by playing his own cadenzas in both concertos.


have a cadenza

South African informal Be extremely agitated: the party is having a cadenza about subliminal messages on the news
Said to be from Danny Kaye's The Little Fiddle, a humorous recording made in the 1940s
More example sentences
  • You're gonna have a cadenza when you hear who I sat next to at the event.


Mid 18th century: from Italian (see cadence).

Words that rhyme with cadenza

cleanser, credenza, influenza, Penza

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ca|denza

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