Cavatina(redirected from cavatine)
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a lyrical solo in opera and oratorio. In the 18th century it usually was contemplative and pensive and was distinguished from the aria by its greater simplicity, songlike melody, and modest scale. In the first half of the 19th century the exit aria of the prima donna or lead was called a cavatina—for example, Antonida’s cavatina in Ivan Susanin by Glinka—but in the second half of the 19th century the term reverted to its 18th-century meaning. Short lyrical instrumental pieces have sometimes been called cavatinas.