1. What is the difference between recitative and aria? Recitative is a technique of passionately delivered words musically in a sensitive, theatrical way, where the singer follows the free rhythm of an emotional speech. The voices are raised and lowered imitating and exaggerating the natural ups and downs. Drama and dialogues are very much present in this piece, making the focus of it more on the singing words then the accompaniment, which is kept to a minimum to guarantee that, the audience will hear all the words unmistakably. Aria is a melodic vocal piece, usually accompanied by a whole orchestra where there is a consistent rhythm and a much clearer meter than recitative. Compared with recitative, aria is a larger piece for a solo singer and has much more musical elaboration and coherence, and it has steady emotions. Recitative needs singer/actors that can express more emotions like fury, sensuous or tragic emotions.
2. What is Ritornello? Ritornello in italian means “little return”. It is the opening theme played with the entire orchestra, which returns in its entirety or as fragments throughout the movement. Usually it returns in different keys and its a stable element of the movement. The Ritornello makes a return at the end of the movement and during the movement it serves as contrast between the orchestra and the soloists. The Ritornello gives the impression of sturdiness and reliability and support. There is a structure for the opening Ritornello. It is there to catch