Definition of arioso in English:



  • [mass noun] (especially in opera and oratorio) vocal music that is more melodic than recitative but less formal than an aria:

    ‘short passages of arioso’
    [count noun] ‘his final arioso was more assured’
    [as modifier] ‘these anthems contain arioso writing’
    • ‘We aren't surprised that Handel employs, for this grand theme, all the resources of classical Heroic Opera, involving recitative, arioso, aria, chorus, and ceremonial dance.’
    • ‘In Act 3 when Guido and Emilia meet, he urges her to kill him in a remarkable sequence of secco recitative, accompanied recitative and arioso.’
    • ‘In terms of sustained popularity the most successful German example was C. H. Graun's Der Tod Jesu (1755, to a poem by K. W. Ramler), which contains powerful choral writing and an effective fusing of recitative and arioso.’
    • ‘The characters have sections of their texts set in Lully's signature arioso with a few aria-like pieces here and there.’
    • ‘The highlight of this final section, however, had to be the tenor arioso.’


Italian, from aria.