One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large-scale, usually narrative musical work for orchestra and voices, typically on a sacred theme, performed without costume, scenery, or action. Well-known examples include Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Handel's Messiah, and Haydn's The Creation.
- ‘She has performed in many operas, operettas, musicals and oratorios.’
- ‘In fact, the work as a whole is more on the scale of an oratorio like Handel's Messiah than of any typical jazz recording.’
- ‘He was also influential in introducing Handel's oratorios to the Boston public.’
- ‘Born in Edinburgh, he was a violinist, conductor and teacher whose compositions included operas, oratorios, songs, concertos, chamber and orchestral works.’
- ‘He also performed numerous songs, oratorios and cantatas.’
Italian, from ecclesiastical Latin oratorium ‘oratory’, from the musical services held in the church of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Rome.
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