Broadly speaking, an intermezzo is a composition intended to fit between two musical or dramatic acts or movements. During the Renaissance the intermezzo was performed between acts of a play. This form evolved into the 18th century intermezzo, which consisted of short standalone operatic interludes inserted between acts of an opera seria. During the 1800's, the term intermezzo was used to designate an instrumental piece meant to serve as a connection between two larger movements or sections. Eventually, the designation of intermezzo started applying to standalone pieces (such as Brahms intermezzi, which are solo piano pieces with a considerable emotional range, not meant to connect anything).
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