Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 22 January 2020

Oratoriolocked

  • Howard E. Smither

Extract

An extended musical setting of a sacred text made up of dramatic, narrative and contemplative elements. Except for a greater emphasis on the chorus throughout much of its history, the musical forms and styles of the oratorio tend to approximate to those of opera in any given period, and the normal manner of performance is that of a concert (without scenery, costumes or action). The oratorio was most extensively cultivated in the 17th and 18th centuries but has continued to be a significant genre.

Distant antecedents of the oratorio may be found in the musical settings of sacred narrative and dramatic texts in the Middle Ages: the liturgical drama, the Divine Office for saints' feasts, the Passion and the dialogue lauda. Medieval miracle and mystery plays, as well as rappresentazioni sacre, are also related to the oratorio, but the real beginnings of the genre are to be found in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods, where an ever-increasing interest in settings of dramatic and narrative texts gave rise first to opera and then to oratorio. Such texts were widely used for polyphonic madrigals in the 16th century (e.g. Andrea Gabrieli, ...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.

Recherches sur la musique française classique
Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale
Rassegna musicale
Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana
Collectanea historiae musicae (1953-66)
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
Rivista musicale italiana
Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II
Early Music
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
H. Smither: A History of the Oratorio (Chapel Hill, NC, 1977-)
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
Nuova rivista musicale italiana
Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters
Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch
Music Review
Studien zur Musikwissenschaft
Archiv für Musikforschung
Note d'archivio per la storia musicale
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Die Musikforschung
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Acta musicologica
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft
Proceedings of the Musical Association
Rivista italiana di musicologia
Revue belge de musicologie
19th Century Music
Musical Times
Musical Quarterly
Music & Letters
Revue de musicologie
Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Allgemeine (deutsche) Musik-Zeitung/Musikzeitung (1874-1943)
Analecta musicologica