sometimes met with in which it appears to have a special significance, and to indicate a particularly smooth manner of playing, the keys being struck less sharply than usual, and with slightly increased pressure. Such a passage occurs in the Allegro of Beethoven's Sonata in A♭, op. 26, in which the quavers alone are marked legato, the semiquavers being left without any mark, thus—
The same plan is followed on each recurrence of the phrase throughout the movement, and since this regularity can scarcely have been accidental, it appears to indicate a corresponding variety of touch.
Instead of the sign, the word legato is sometimes written under the passage, as in Beethoven's Bagatelle, Op. 119, No. 8, or Variation No. 30 of Op. 120. When the word is employed it generally refers to the character of the whole movement rather than to a single passage.
In playing legato passages wholly or partly founded upon broken chords, some masters have taught that the principal notes of the harmony should be sustained a little longer than their written length. Thus Hummel, in his Pianoforte School, gives the following passages (and many others) with the intimation that the notes marked with an asterisk are to be sustained somewhat longer than written, 'on account of the better connexion'—
This method of playing passages, which is sometimes called legatissimo, would doubtless add to the richness of the effect, especially upon the light-toned pianofortes of Hummel's day, but it is not necessary on modern instruments, the tone of which is so much fuller. Nevertheless it is sometimes of service, particularly in certain passages by Chopin, which without it are apt to sound thin. In Klindworth's new edition of Chopin the editor has added a second stem, indicating a greater value, to such notes as require sustaining, and a comparison of his version with the original edition will at once show the intended effect; for example—
Chopin, Valse, Op. 64, No. 2, Original Edition.
Ditto., Klindworth Edition
An example of legatissimo touch, in which the notes are written of their full value, may be found in No. 5, Bk. ii. of Cramer's Studies.
The opposite of legato is staccato— detached [see Staccato], but there is an intermediate touch between legato and staccato, in which the notes, though not connected, are separated by a barely perceptible break. When this effect is intended the passage is marked non legato. An example occurs in the first movement of Beethoven's Sonata in C minor, Op. 111, in the passage immediately following the first appearance of the short Adagio phrase.
[ F. T. ]
LEGGIERO(Ital., also Leggieramente), lightly. The word is usually applied to a rapid passage, and in pianoforte playing indicates an absence of pressure, the keys being struck with only sufficient force to produce the sound. Leggiero passages are usually, though not invariably, piano, and they may be either legato or staccato; if the former the fingers must move very freely and strike the keys with a considerable amount of percussion to ensure distinctness, but with the slightest possible amount of force. Examples of legato passages marked leggieramente are found in the 25th variation of Beethoven's Op. 120, and in the finale of Mendelssohn's Concerto in G minor (which also contains the unusual combination of forte with leggiero); and of staccato single notes and chords in the finale of Mendelssohn's Concerto in D minor.
On stringed instruments leggiero passages are as a rule played by diminishing the pressure of the bow upon the strings, but the word generally refers rather to the character of the movement than to any particular manner of bowing. The Scherzo of Beethoven's Quartet in E♭, Op. 74, is marked leggiermente, although it begins forte, and the same indication is given for the 2nd variation of the Andante in the Kreutzer Sonata, which is piano throughout.
[ F. T. ]
LEGRENZI, Giovanni, composer and conductor, born about 1625 at Clusone near Bergamo; in which town he learned music, and received his first appointment, that of organist to the church of St. Maria Maggiore. He next became maestro di capella of the church of the Spirito Santo at Ferrara, where he still was in 1664. When Krieger, Capellmeister to the Duke of Weissenfels, visited Venice in 1672, he found Legrenzi settled there as director of the Conservatorio dei Mendicanti. In 1685 he also became maestro di capella of St. Mark's, and exercised both functions till his death in July [App. p.698 "May 26"] 1690. He entirely reorganised the orchestra of