a bit or passageway whether singing or instrumental peculiarly adapted to singing occasionally called cantilena
- In a melodious flowing style in a singing style in the place of bravura recitativo or parlando
- smooth and moving
- In a melodious, flowing design; in a singing design, as opposed to bravura, recitativo, or parlando.
- A piece or passage, whether vocal or instrumental, peculiarly adapted to performing; -- occasionally known as cantilena.
1724, from Italian, literally "singable, which can be sung," from cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
Otherwise, when Beethoven has anything special for the violoncellos to say, he invariably softens and deepens their singularly incisive cantabile tones by doubling them with the violas.