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Ships with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Oratorio in the classical Era is the third volume of Howard Smither's monumental History of the Oratorio, continuing his synthesis and critical appraisal of the oratorio.

His comprehensive study surpasses in scope and treatment all previous works on the subject. A fourth and final volume, on the oratorio in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is forthcoming. In this volume Smither discusses the Italian oratorio from the s to the early nineteenth century and oratorios from other parts of Europe from the s to the nineteenth century. Drawing on works that represent various types, languages, and geographical areas, Smither treats the general characteristics of oratorio libretto and music and analyzes twenty-two oratorios from Italy, England, Germany, France, and Russia.

He synthesizes the results of specialized studies and contributes new material based on firsthand study of eighteenth-century music manuscripts and printed librettos. Emphasizing the large number of social contexts within which oratorios were heard, Smither discussed examples in Italy such as the Congregation of the Oratory, lay contrafraternities, and educational institutions.

He examines oratorio performances in German courts, London theaters and English provincial festivals, and the Parisian Concert spirituel. Though the volume concentrates primarily on eighteenth-century oratorio from the early to the late Classical styles, Smither includes such transitional works as the oratorios of Jean-Francios le Seur in Paris and Stepan Anikievich Degtiarev in Moscow. The music is often contrapuntal and madrigal-like. Philip Neri 's Congregazione dell'Oratorio featured the singing of spiritual laude.

A History of the Oratorio, Four Volume Set - Howard E Smither - Häftad () | Bokus

These became more and more popular and were eventually performed in specially built oratories prayer halls by professional musicians. Again, these were chiefly based on dramatic and narrative elements. Sacred opera provided another impetus for dialogues, and they greatly expanded in length although never really beyond 60 minutes long.

Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo is an example of one of these works, but technically it is not an oratorio because it features acting and dancing. It does, however contain music in the monodic style. The first oratorio to be called by that name is Pietro della Valle 's Oratorio della Purificazione , but due to its brevity only 12 minutes long and the fact that its other name was "dialogue", we can see that there was much ambiguity in these names.

During the second half of the 17th century, there were trends toward the secularization of the religious oratorio. Evidence of this lies in its regular performance outside church halls in courts and public theaters. Whether religious or secular, the theme of an oratorio is meant to be weighty.

It could include such topics as Creation , the life of Jesus , or the career of a classical hero or Biblical prophet. Other changes eventually took place as well, possibly because most composers of oratorios were also popular composers of operas. They began to publish the librettos of their oratorios as they did for their operas. Strong emphasis was soon placed on arias while the use of the choir diminished. Female singers became regularly employed, and replaced the male narrator with the use of recitatives.

Lasting about 30—60 minutes, oratorio volgares were performed in two sections, separated by a sermon ; their music resembles that of contemporary operas and chamber cantatas. The most significant composer of oratorio latino was Giacomo Carissimi, whose Jephte is regarded as the first masterpiece of the genre. Like most other Latin oratorios of the period, it is in one section only. In the late baroque oratorios increasingly became "sacred opera".


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In Rome and Naples Alessandro Scarlatti was the most noted composer. In Vienna the court poet Metastasio produced annually a series of oratorios for the court which were set by Caldara , Hasse and others. After Telemann came the galante oratorio style of C. The Georgian era saw a German-born monarch and German-born composer define the English oratorio. George Frideric Handel , most famous today for his Messiah , also wrote other oratorios based on themes from Greek and Roman mythology and Biblical topics.

He is also credited with writing the first English language oratorio, Esther. Handel's imitators included the Italian Lidarti who was employed by the Amsterdam Jewish community to compose a Hebrew version of Esther. Britain continued to look to Germany for its composers of oratorio. The Birmingham Festival commissioned various oratorios including Felix Mendelssohn 's Elijah in , later performed in German as Elias.