Definition of sostenuto in English:

sostenuto

adjective

Music
  • (of a passage of music) to be played in a sustained or prolonged manner.

    • ‘The second finale replaces the sostenuto passage in the first finale with a ghostly toccata.’
    • ‘Particularly memorable was the heart-stopping sostenuto passage leading up to the discovery of Susanna in the closet, with its perfectly judged tempo di rubato and sense of hushed bewilderment.’
    • ‘There are some beautifully expressive moments in the second Andante sostenuto movement in this concerto.’
    • ‘Myaskovsky saves his grief for the Rachmaninov-like Molto sostenuto central movement, which rises twice to a searing climax.’

noun

Music
  • 1A passage to be played in a sustained or prolonged manner.

    • ‘His darkly burnished sound in the Andante sostenuto was all warmth and violinistic molten lava.’
    • ‘The dreamy, Chopinesque poetry of the Adagio sostenuto was exquisitely molded.’
    • ‘The inner movements are also very beautifully paced with great introspection to be found in the lovely Andante sostenuto.’
    • ‘The lovely Andante sostenuto is also very well managed with a particular singing melody attributed to the strings, who play with dreamy charm.’
    • ‘You'll hear no catchy runs or sostenutos, no aria-like Mozart-esque musicality.’
    1. 1.1 The performance of a passage in a sustained or prolonged manner.
      • ‘In poise and sostenuto, her Carmen is full not only of sexiness but somehow sex itself.’
      • ‘Exercises for developing sostenuto, legato, trill, rapid scales, messa di voce and other vocal techniques are included.’
      • ‘I've always felt that the piano accompaniment of Das verlassene Mägdlein lacks sostenuto and is hard to bring off.’
      • ‘Chapter Eight is about sustaining the voice and gives exercises for developing sostenuto.’
      • ‘She ran away with the show as Liu, bringing clarity to both her deepest, most vociferous registers and to her challenging tremolos over sostenuto in the highest notes.’

Origin

Italian, ‘sustained’.

Pronunciation

sostenuto

/ˌsästəˈno͞odō/