One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjective & adverbMusic
(especially as a direction) very soft or softly.
- ‘The feathery pianissimo lightness in the upper strings against the mezzo forte melody lower down is perfectly weighted.’
- ‘The conductor emphasises them strongly against pianissimo strings to marvelous effect, more so than in any other interpretation on disc.’
- ‘Because of the frequent register changes, the student continually must be moving to and preparing for the next sound in order to create a fluid, legato line within a predominantly pianissimo dynamic range.’
- ‘From the furiously fast runs of the opening to the lyrical to the rapturous to pianissimo trills that were hardly there, the playing was stunning.’
- ‘There was some impressive solo playing from the woodwind principals in this performance and the orchestra produced a beautifully controlled pianissimo ending.’
nounPlural pianissimos, Plural pianissimiMusic
A passage marked to be performed very softly.
- ‘The surging waves of orchestral sound, radiant pianissimos and brilliant flashes of color were awesome!’
- ‘Today's pianists must work with plastic, wood, felt,, copper, iron and steel to make all kinds of sounds ranging from delicate pianissimos to robust fortissimos.’
- ‘Few pianists produce such gorgeous pianissimos!’
- ‘And as performance dates drew close rehearsals became almost terrifying in their propulsive, impelling commitment - pianissimos were scaled to a whisper and fortes forceful and triumphant.’
- ‘She makes great use of pianissimi and the way she controls the legato gives her performances a subtlety not often heard.’
Italian, superlative of piano (see piano).
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