Definition of passagework in English:



mass noun
  • Music notable chiefly for the scope it affords for virtuoso playing.

    ‘some of the passagework in early Beethoven is very awkward’
    • ‘Here one could relish plateaus of stillness before the onset of bristling counterpoint and passagework in the finale.’
    • ‘In Op 17 for cello and piano, the cello part is radically distinct from the original horn version, with added passagework in several points in the three movements.’
    • ‘Beyond that, her vocal production lacks clarity in midrange, leaving clean articulation of rapid passagework and a meaningful projection of the text pretty much to the imagination.’
    • ‘Flórez's accurate articulation of coloratura and the sheer fizz of his passagework, without loss of tonal quality or definition, take the breath away.’
    • ‘She was plangently moving in her slower music, but in her faster passagework she gave the music a wonderful shape and direction.’
    • ‘They look on passagework as passagework, but I Iook on it as decorated melody which has its own patterns and sensitivities.’
    • ‘The primo part always contains melodic material, while the secondo part contains mainly accompanimental passagework.’
    • ‘Of course in any live performance, one can expect - and forgive - occasional wrong notes and imperfect passagework, but this pianist outshines many a younger colleague in technique alone anyway.’
    • ‘A splendid conclusion to the CD is provided by the Op 16 Capriccio, where the opening launches a virtuoso piling up of passagework that has irresistible panache.’
    • ‘The style is a cross between Mozart and Mendelssohn with touches of Weber, and Cramer avoids empty passagework in favour of strong arguments built on memorable ideas.’
    • ‘Rapid high passagework never threatens his technique or intonation.’
    • ‘She managed the demanding passagework with aplomb and eked out some sympathy for this macabre character.’
    • ‘Yet the two piano concertos have charms in abundance, winning melodies, and plenty of glittering passagework, even though Mendelssohn was never going to embrace the dramatic showmanship of the new school of Liszt.’
    • ‘A brief middle section contains off-beat strumming, while tone clusters finally give way to richly-scored harmonic passagework.’
    • ‘He can storm at top speed through any Beethoven passagework, so that I wonder if even Liszt would have gone faster.’
    • ‘From the guitar-like strumming of El Corpus en Sevilla to the stillness of Evocación and the hectic passagework of Lavapiés, you are captivated by the brilliant emotion.’
    • ‘The contrapuntal interest and driving sequences of the Minuet and Trio were especially well portrayed, and the bristling rondo finale drew virtuoso clarinet passagework in its purposeful ebullience.’
    • ‘Her dexterity in passagework was matched by a good sense of the piano sonority and clarity of counterpoint.’
    • ‘We were regaled with some well drilled pyrotechnics, in the flutato themes, octave slides, scintillating passagework, resulting in riveting joie de vivre of the interaction.’
    • ‘The piano projected brightly, the themes warmly shaped and the passagework bristling and with sensitive dynamics.’