Strictly, a mus. setting of a religious lib. for solo singers, ch., and orch., in dramatic form but usually perf. without scenery or costumes in concert-hall or church. The form originated in plays given in the Oratory of S. Philip Neri, Rome
, in the mid-16th cent., the mus. form developing c.
1600. The first oratorio was Cavalieri's La rappresentazione di anima e di corpo
(The Representation of Soul and Body), a morality set to music and perf. in costume. Later oratorios, in concert-form, were written by Carissimi
, A. Scarlatti
, the most popular of all oratorios), Haydn
, and Mendelssohn
). Elgar wrote 3 oratorios (but The Dream of Gerontius
is not an oratorio).2.
The term is also applied to works similar to these cited above but on a non-religious subject, e.g. Handel's Semele
, Tippett's A Child of our Time
. Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex
is described as an opera-oratorio
•Cleo • Carpaccio • Boccaccio
•capriccio • braggadocio • Palladio
•cardio • radio • video • audio • rodeo
•Sergio • radicchio • Tokyo • intaglio
, imbroglio, olio, polio, portfolio
•cameo • Romeo
•Antonio • Scipio • Scorpio
, Lothario, Polisario, Rosario, scenario
•stereo • embryo
•vireo • Florio
•curio • Ajaccio • Lazio • nuncio
, Horatio, ratio
, ex officio
•patio • Subbuteo • physio
/ ˌôrəˈtôrēˌō; ˌär-/
a large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, typically a narrative on a religious theme, performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action.Well-known examples include Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Handel's Messiah, and Haydn's The Creation.
XVIII. — It. — ecclL. ōrātōrium ORATORY1
; so named from the musical performances held in the church of the Oratory
of St. Philip Neri in Rome
from the latter part of XVI.
Form of sacred musical composition for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra. The first of these compositions were presented in oratories (chapels) in 17th-century Italy. Outstanding examples are Handel's Messiah
(1742) and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius
a large-scale, usually narrative musical work for orchestra and voices, typically on a sacred theme, performed without costume, scenery, or action. The form arose in the early 17th century, from the services of the Oratory
The setting of a religious (usually Christian) text to music; the setting is extensive, with soloists, chorus, and instruments. It is not, however, like opera, in that it is not staged or acted out.